Oct 15, 2019

Fortnite returns after 2-day blackout with makeover, updates

Photo: Bartosz Siedlik/AFP via Getty Images

Developer Epic Games has revamped Fortnite, calling its update "Chapter 2," and adding an uncharted map, new gameplay features and a full makeover after its universe was sucked into a virtual black hole on Sunday, the Verge reports.

Background: Chapter 2 is the popular video game's first progression since it launched its controversial Season X at the beginning of August. Before Tuesday morning's reveal, Fortnite underwent a 2-day, in-game event that destroyed its original island landscape.

Between the lines: Players grew frustrated with Fortnite over the past several months when the game drifted away from its roots as a pseudo-social gathering place and began catering to a more competitive audience. That dissatisfaction was at least part to blame for revenue falling by 52% from the second quarter of 2018 to 2019, per Dot eSports.

As grievances grew and numbers took a turn for the worse, Fortnite's competition expanded as well.

  • Activision's "Call of Duty" launched a mobile version on Oct. 1 that attracted 125 million unique downloads, Reuters reports.
  • Since Call of Duty's launch in 2017, consumer spending on Fortnite has fallen 23%.

The big picture: Chapter 2 is Epic's way of generating new buzz for the game, and attracting new fans. More than 5.5 million people tuned into the demoltion of Fortnite's map via video stream. Millions of others logged on to Fortnite servers to view the event from inside the game.

Go deeper: Fortnite: The hot, new social network

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.