A new report reveals that the Fortnite Chapter 2 map that has been the subject of so much discussion and praise since the black hole event ended was actually leaked around a month ago - but that those who saw it when it leaked didn't believe the information, dismissing the rumor as false. This isn't the first time that fans of a battle royale game have come across what is perhaps the most important part of the game - the world map in which players compete - as the same thing happened to Apex Legends prior to its launch, with the same result.
In the case of Apex Legends, however, the game hadn't been announced yet, and although rumors had circulated that developer Respawn Entertainment wasn't working on a Titanfall sequel after all, it was easier to dismiss claims of a battle royale map being leaked for a property that wasn't officially known. In the case of Fortnite, it's hard to imagine a bigger leak - it's one of the most important games on the planet, a constantly evolving multiplayer experience with millions dedicated to the title in such a way that leaks of this stature simply shouldn't happen. Funnily enough, however, it was fan skepticism - especially of the possibility that Epic Games had let such an important announcement leak early - that kept the rumor from circulating too widely, and ultimately preserved the surprise that came at the end of one of the gaming industry's most intriguing shared experience moments.
According to a report from Eurogamer, however, it really was a leaked Fortnite Chapter 2 map that surfaced on the /r/fortnitecompetitive reddit in September. The post was deleted fairly quickly, but was first made by someone who claimed they had gotten the leak from a friend who worked at Epic Games. The leaked map photo includes the same place names as the ones that were found within Fortnite's own update files, and included a Battle Bus route on top of it. Fans immediately dismissed the leak as inaccurate, however, and subsequent posts using the same image were all universally downvoted. Here's a look at the leaked map as compared to the official Fortnite Chapter 2 map:
Eventually, a well-known Fortnite leaker called Hypex posted the map to Twitter and it blew up thanks to the user's 500,000 followers. A user on Twitter then came forward and suggested that they had made it in Photoshop themselves, denouncing it as fake. That person claimed to be the original poster and has since confirmed that they said it was fake because Epic got in touch with them after the company noticed the map circulating on social media. In short - it was messy, and confusing, but the Fortnite Chapter 2 map was in fact available for public consumption for over a month.
It's another instance of a huge, game-changing leak making the rounds and skeptical fans deciding it's not real. It's amusing to think that what will go down as one of the most compelling moments in modern gaming in Fortnite's black hole could have been completely undermined over a month before it was instigated by a map leak that would've tipped off users to an incoming reset. For Epic Games, however, it's a complete disaster dodged by the fact that the internet has trained people to remain extremely cynical about potential leaks.