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Fortnite servers were down for five hours, but now the game is back online

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Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There was some bad news if you’re on winter break and hoping to play some Fortnite, as Epic Games battle royale shooter went down more than five hours on Wednesday — and this time it wasn’t to help expand the game’s lore. According to a tweet from its own status page, “Fortnite is currently unavailable and players are unable to log-in while we investigate an issue. We’ll provide more info when we have a solution to bring services back online.”

A follow-up tweet at 3:10PM ET from the team said they were “continuing to work on a fix that will bring Fortnite back online and appreciate everyone’s patience.” As of 6PM ET, we hadn’t heard anything since, but at around 6:30PM ET players reported the game was working again, which we have been able to confirm.

The Fortnite Status Twitter eventually tweeted to confirm the game is back up, promising that next week (or, next year) there will be details on “what we’re doing to help you make up for lost time.” It also noted some people might see an extra in-game present to open, but said the team is working on that.

Our own senior entertainment editor Andrew Webster reported struggling with the platform, which was telling many players, “You do not have permission to play Fortnite.” The company started investigating the issue at around 11AM ET, before the servers went offline entirely a couple of hours later.

When the servers initially went down, the Epic Games launcher wouldn’t even start Fortnite, showing the servers were offline, but later it would try to launch the game. Unfortunately, after launching, as many players have reported and we experienced in a test, it simply placed you in a queue for ten minutes or so and then failed to connect. Now, as of 6:45PM ET, launching the game takes players right in to the action.

Around the same time the issue started, the Epic Games Store was also having problems, where some players said they couldn’t log in or even access their games for offline play. Now at least the Epic Games desktop launcher is working so you can still play other games on your PC.

Update December 29th, 3:00PM ET: Added details about current server status and issues logging in.

Update December 29th, 3:18PM ET: Added latest tweet about Fortnite server restoration progress.

Update December 29th, 5:55PM ET: Updated to note the problem has not been fixed, and there are no new updates.

Update December 29th, 6:45PM ET: Updated to note the servers are available and working once again.

Update December 29th, 7:00PM ET: Updated with Epic Games’ statement about making up for the lost time.

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