‘Fortnite’ back online after 7-hour outage

“Fortnite” fans stuck at home over winter break had to find something else to do Wednesday after the game’s servers went offline for about seven hours during the middle of the day. Epic Games Inc., publisher of the massively popular videogame, first acknowledged the problem — in which players were greeted by the message “You do not have permission to play ‘Fortnite’”  — around noon Eastern, later saying “Fortnite is currently unavailable and players are unable to log-in while we investigate an issue.”

“Fortnite game servers are currently offline while we investigate a solution to stability issues,” the company tweeted later in the afternoon. The problem was resolved shortly before 7 p.m. Eastern. “Fortnite game servers are back online,” Epic tweeted. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we worked to resolve these issues and we’ll have more details next week on what we’re doing to help you make up for lost time,” suggesting compensation for users may be in the works. The glitch also affected Epic’s app store, which is in the middle of a holiday sale, and blocked players from downloading, installing and launching games in their library. The app store was functioning again by 7 p.m. So gamers spent much of the day game-less. One tweet that said “like if you still can’t login” had nearly 23,000 “likes” after three hours. Others coped by making memes:

While some turned to a last-resort option:

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