Fortnite might be leaving its “Early Access” stage two years after the battle royale mode was officially launched on Sept. 26, 2017.
Fortnite data miner FortTory found that the game files were updated after the v10.40 update. The “BETA” and “Early Access” strings have been changed to “NightNightEarlyAccess”: “PHASE ONE ACCESS EXPIRED” and “NightNightBeta”: “PHASE ONE BETA EXPIRED.”
This could suggest that Fortnite might leave its Early Access stage after season X has concluded or the NightNight event, which could be the codename for the heavily-rumored Rocket event.
Epic Games said on June 10, 2017 that Fornite would leave its Early Access stage in 2018. But since we’re now approaching the end of 2019, we know this hasn’t happened yet.
Epic has kept Fortnite in the Early Access stage to update the game as frequently as possible. This is due to the leniency in the certification process for games that are in beta. Normally, games will have to pass several lengthy processes to produce patches, but this isn’t the case for betas. The game is unfinished, so the patches are expected to be somewhat unstable, and therefore they don’t require the lengthy testing that a normal game would need.
Fortnite fans are awaiting “The End” limited-time mode, which was also leaked. This game mode could signal the end of season X and lay the groundwork for the next season of Fortnite. Fans are also speculating that this could mean the end of the map, pending a new destination.
This theory is supported by the leaked season X loading screens that will conclude the season. The second screen titled ”Last stop, thank you, bus driver” shows the driver leaving the Fortnite characters behind, potentially flying the bus to a new map for the next season.
All of this new content could tie in with the official departure of the Early Access stage for Fortnite, moving toward a free-to-play build instead. A 1.0 alpha build could be officially released with a new map soon.