Fortnite developer Epic Games said in a blog post today that it’ll no longer upload Fortnite patches the day of tournaments—but that players should still expect patches that range from a “few days to a week” before official events.
Community members have been vocal about day-of tournaments patches, complaining that Epic is not supporting its competitive scene in favor of the larger fanbase. Epic said it won’t make changes like that anymore, but that adaptability in its players is still important. “We value the ability of players to adapt to the game changing over time,” an Epic representative wrote. “We also believe these changes keep Fortnite fresh for everyone including players, competitors and spectators. However, we want to provide reasonable time for you to adjust strategies following large gameplay impacting changes, for example prior to official Fortnite competitions.”
One of the more egregious examples of Epic failing there is with the Infinity Blade, added the day before Fortnite’s $1 million Winter Royale finals in North America. The Infinity Blade, which has since been vaulted for being overpowered, absolutely wrecked the standings. After qualifying for weeks on a different patch—without the unbalanced blade—players were furious that the item was added right before the finals. Three of the top five players in the event won by wielding the blade.
Just a few days later Epic realized that—oops!—the Infinity Blade was overpowered and had no good counters.
The response to Epic’s competitive update today has been mixed. Players are pleased that the developer won’t upload patches on tournament days anymore, starting with the upcoming Australian Open event. But the community still isn’t happy. For a game that’s given out $20 million in prizes last year—a number cited in today’s blog post—Fortnite’s esports program has far too much unpredictability for some players. Many believe that even with a week’s notice of a patch, there’s just not enough time to prepare for major Fortnite events.
Epic said it’ll continue to update the game every week but will adjust for competitive needs. The developer expects to release two more blog posts regarding the state of Fortnite development and competition. There’s no timeline for the other posts.