Fortnite’s Playground should return this week, but maybe not


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Did you get a chance to try Playground mode?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Fortnite’s long-awaited Playground mode made its official debut last week, but it didn’t last long. Almost immediately after Playground went live, Epic Games was forced to close it down due to a host of technical problems.

Epic has promised that Playground will return this week, and in a new update published today, it says “recent tests look promising.” But we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up just yet.

Fortnite has seen a lot of exciting limited-time modes that give players something new and different to enjoy. Highlights include Sniper Shootout, High Explosives, 50v50, and one that gave us the ability to play as Thanos. But Playground mode was set to be the best one yet.

For the first time, it would have given players the freedom to let their creativity run wild without the worry of elimination. With ample resources and equipment, you could build as much as you like, practice your combat skills, and get to know the Battle Royale map. Death was certainly possible, but with instant respawn enabled, it didn’t matter.

Unfortunately, very few got a chance to try it.

This Playground is closed

Issues meant Epic was forced to pull Playground mode within an hour of its official debut. If you didn’t get into a Playground match as soon as it was made available, you were out of luck.

Epic was quick to explain the reasons behind its disappearance, and it initially said it was working to bring Playground back online the same day. But despite making some changes and improvements, thep issues could not be resolved.

“We are holding the release until next week to continue hammering away this weekend,” read an Epic update posted to Reddit on Friday. “We’re sorry we haven’t been able to get you in the LTM, and we know waiting is the worst.”

Epic promised an update on Monday, July 2, and now we have one. There’s good and bad news.

Recent tests look ‘promising’

“We have some system performance goals that we believe are required in order to relaunch the Playground LTM,” it reads. “We’ve continued working towards these goals over the weekend and our most recent load tests look promising, but there are some anomalies in the data that we still need to understand.”

Specifically, Epic still needs to investigate what will happen when server capacity is exhausted, what happens when the matchmaking queue backs up, and how matchmaking will recover when new capacity is added.

“It’s hard to know whether we’ll have to make any additional system changes in order to meet our test goals right now,” Epic warns. “We won’t know that for sure until after we complete our current testing phase.”

When will Playground return?

While it’s great that recent tests have gone well, then, it sounds like Epic still has a lot of work to do before Playground will return. It says that the current testing phase will be over later today, and that it will provide fans with another update then.

In the meantime, Fortnite players will be wondering whether Playground really will return this week. If everything goes well, it certainly seems plausible. But if Epic runs into more issues during subsequent testing phases, it could well be delayed even longer.

Perhaps we shouldn’t get our hopes up for a Playground release this week, then. If Epic manages to pull it off, it will be a nice surprise. If it doesn’t, we won’t be too disappointed at having to wait longer.