'Fortnite' Playground Mode Release Time: Promised Update Fails to Deliver

More bad news.

When Epic Games added Playground LTM (short for Limited Time Mode) to Fortnite: Battle Royale earlier this week it seemed like a good thing. The game finally had a true sandbox mode where you could play and experiment without worrying that some jerk might take you out with a sniper rifle from a mile away. Unfortunately, that didn’t exactly turn out to be the case.

Instead, the update that added Playground mode crashed the entire game. To fix the issue, Epic pulled the new feature just a few hours after its highly anticipated release. The rest of the game currently works, but Playground LTM is still missing.

Despite a slew of tweets and promises from Epic Games, it looks like we’ll be heading into the weekend without Playground mode.

What is Fortnite Playground mode?

If you’re just joining the conversation, here’s a quick explanation for Playground LTM. As Epic Games puts it, the new mode gives you “your own private island,” putting you on an a version of the game’s main map with a few key differences:

  • You can only play this mode with up to three other people. So you really do have the map to yourself.
  • Instant Respawns: If you die you’ll come right back. So you don’t need to worry about starting a new game each time. Friendly fire is also turned on, so feel free to shoot at your friends.
  • More Building Materials: You’ll automatically get more wood, brick, and metal from breaking down objects or picking up loot, which makes building a lot easier.
  • One Hour Per Game: Each game will last a full hour, but after 55 minutes the storm will start to close in, signaling the end of your Playground mode match.

Why did Fortnite remove Playground mode and when is it coming back?

On Thursday, Epic issued a short update, stating that it hoped to bring Playground mode back online by the end of the day, but clearly that time window has come and gone. Then, at around midnight, the company offered even more information as it pushed for more time to fix it.

The issue really comes down to matchmaking, which is how Fortnite connects you with other players before each game. It seems that Playground mode was so popular at launch that it overloaded the matchmaking system, which caused the entire thing to crash.

In response, Epic actually built an entirely separate matchmaking service just for Playground mode, but apparently that system still isn’t ready for prime time. On Friday morning, the company raised our hopes yet again with a tweet revealing that that it was close to a fix and teasing an update at 12 a.m. Eastern.

However, when lunchtime came and went without Playground mode’s return, Epic was forced to tweet out yet another update.

For now you’ll just have to stay tuned, hope for the best, and wait it out — or you could just go back to playing regular ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale.’

This article, originally published on June 29, 2018, has been updated.

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