Epic Games' Fortnite: Battle Royale was always going to kill a hamster or two but Fortnite's v3.4.1 update did immediately follow yesterday's v3.4 patch, which in turn all resulted in server hamstercide, so there may be more to this.
Now, Fortnite's update v3.4.1 notes are pretty short, listing fixes on pump shotgun animation delay, missing distance in Sniper Rifle elimination and multiple crash fixes. Epic said the update will be deployed on mobile as well, albeit packing more mobile-centric fixes.
The latter move seems to have been Epic's reaction to pretty login waiting times experienced by some mobile users. Unfortunately, now it seems that the company stunned its hamster with too much Fortnite.
Ultimately, Fortnite v3.4.1 not only didn't fix crashes, it actually introduced the mother of all crashes on Epic's servers. It started with longer matchmaking times, for which Epic promptly apologised, but then it actually got worse.
In fact, a mere hour after stating they're aware of lengthy loading, Epic's backend services failed, leaving the company grasping at straws to bring Fortnite back. They even turned off Stats, so as to ensure every bit of muscle power for their Battle Royale title, but to no avail.
We are experiencing degraded performance with our backend services. We’ve also temporarily disabled Stats for the time being. We’ll update you once we have more information. https://t.co/3y0X6buriO— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) March 30, 2018
At the time of writing, Epic is still struggling to resolve these backend issues and seeing as how they steered clear of giving an approximation of when Fortnite's coming back, we guess the company's got a backend hamster conundrum on their hands.
We’re still working to resolve these backend service issues and will let you know once we’ve seen recovery. We know you want to get back out there and appreciate your patience as we work through these problems.— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) March 30, 2018
To be fair though, the pace of Epic's progress with Fortnite: Battle Royale has rapidly quickened and expanded at the same time, so this may have been a result of their servers simply being insufficient for the Fortnite craze that's going around.
On the other hand, with Epic being a serious contender for the first developer to fully implement cross-platform play the way it's meant to be cross-platform played, we would say that several hours of downtime is a small price to pay. However, they better start thinking about higher quality hamsters, and preferably soon.