Something new happened in Fortnite and no one knows what it means yet.
The purple cube, which was nicknamed “Kevin,” is gone. The area around its former home, floating above a lake, is altered. Everyone who witnessed the cube’s disappearance got zapped into a floaty space filled with white lights and some weird kind of butterfly.
If you don’t play Fortnite, none of this makes sense. Let’s back up.
Fortnite is one of the most popular video games on the planet in 2018. It pits up to 100 players against one another in a massive “battle royale” map where the last person or squad standing wins. Everyone starts on even footing, with no gear; a big piece of the game involves gathering resources during a match and using them to propel your victory.
That’s the basic explanation. But Fortnite is much bigger than the game you play. It’s a live experience driven by seasonal shifts. There’s just one playable map, but it’s changed again and again as one-time events (like June’s rocket launch) mark those key moments.
Sunday’s cube disappearance finished a journey that started in August. That’s when the giant purple cube first appeared in the game. It had weird symbols scrawled all over it and repelled anyone who got too close.
It also moved.
No one noticed it at first because it happened so slowly. But starting in late August, the Fortnite cube moved a short distance once every two hours (roughly). It’s path across the map eventually led it to “Loot Lake,” where it stopped and appeared to melt into the water. This was in mid-September.
When Season 6 of Fortnite kicked off about a week later, the cube reappeared. It rose out of the lake, floating up into the air along with an island that had once lived in Loot Lake. The island fell back to ground level a few days later, breaking into smaller pieces in the process. Meanwhile, the cube started to crack.
All of that set the stage for Sunday’s in-game event. Here, just see it for yourself:
After leaving the white space, players returned to find their Fortnite map transformed.
One thing: Kevin’s disappearance marked the end of an ongoing “Fortnitemares” Halloween event which saw players dealing with Cube Monsters trying to kill them in addition to all the other human players.
The space below Kevin, an area formerly known as Loot Lake, was also transformed. Instead of it being a mostly empty lake, the area is now populated by a number of smaller islands. There may be other terrain changes too.
This is the kind of stuff that makes Fortnite so magical. The fact that it’s playable on pretty much any modern machine capable of playing video games definitely helps, but the event factor is strong.
What happened on Sunday is never going to happen again in Fortnite. The people who were there, the ones who know the game well, they recognized that and cut the fighting so they could watch Kevin’s exit unfold. They stopped playing so they could bear witness.
That’s a powerful thing. Fortnite‘s events captivate audiences inside and outside the game like few others can. Even if you missed it in the moment, it’s a cool thing to behold.