On Sunday, Fortnite gamers acquired a shock. At 2 p.m. ET, the favored battle royale multiplayer sport appeared to crash. Every part disappeared—maps, menus, characters … every part. All that remained was a black display with a black gap.
It was nonetheless there Sunday evening. And Monday. And although there was nothing to observe, tens of hundreds of individuals tuned into Twitch to stare at it. The sport’s Instagram account uploaded a 5 minute video of the nothingness, garnering hundreds of views.
It was, after all, a PR stunt. But it surely was one which did precisely what it was alleged to do: It put Fortnite—and its new launch Fortnite Chapter 2— firmly again into the collective gaming dialog simply as the sport was starting to lose a little bit of its coolness issue.
Gamers knew the sport’s 10th season would finish Sunday. That normally means a quick interval of server downtime as new options are uploaded. It’s an opportunity for devoted gamers to run to the shop or stretch their legs. The black gap saved them glued to their screens—and ensured they talked about it on social media.
That constructed up the viewers for Chapter 2, the newest model of the ever-changing sport. (New options embody 13 new places, the power to hold a fallen teammate to security and a “bandage bazooka” to heal pals.) Gamers also can swim or drive motorboats in Fortnite Chapter 2.
And now that the sport’s out there, Epic Video games is hoping the lapsed gamers who had been speaking about Fortnite‘s black gap and watching the Twitch feed will bounce again in.
Fortnite, after all, remains to be outrageously fashionable. But it surely has misplaced a little bit of its luster because it has aged, as any sport does. It was essentially the most streamed sport on Twitch in August, however simply barely (League of Legends had simply 2,000 fewer common viewers). And its year-over-year common viewers had been down 37%. So an enormous stunt for an enormous remake may convey these numbers again up.
Extra must-read tales from Fortune:
—The best way to declare a money settlement of as much as $358 for Yahoo’s knowledge breaches
—Apple Card’s latest profit: reduction for pure catastrophe victims
—Now hiring: individuals who can translate knowledge into tales and actions
—Is A.I. a trillion-dollar development engine or a jobs-killer? There’s purpose for optimism
—The gaming habit heart within the U.Ok. is an indication of the long run
Meet up with Knowledge Sheet, Fortune’s every day digest on the enterprise of tech.