According to some leakers, Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 4 is confirmed to have a major downtime period once the live event concludes. Based on the information obtained from the game's files, servers will be offline for an extended period of time, potentially lasting up to 48 hours.
As with previous chapter endings, the 'Night Night or Black Hole/To Be Continued' screen will be displayed at that time. Once the live event ends, the game's servers will be shut down worldwide and every looper will be booted from the playable version of the game.
Although this has occurred in the past, it may still come as a shock to some. Considering that many new players joined the game after the Zero Build mode was introduced, this will be the first time that they'll experience this phenomenon.
That said, there's nothing that can be done about it. Players will have to be patient until the servers are up again and the sun rises in-game on a brand new island. On that note, the game's timeline is slightly out of place, leaving room for speculation.
Fortnite Chapter 4 may start on Sunday, December 4, 2022
Based on the timeline that's currently in play, the live event will begin at 4:00 pm Eastern Time on December 3, 2022. Once it ends, a 48-hour downtime, as is tradition, is slated to kick off right after. This suggests that Chapter 4 will officially begin on December 5, 2022, which happens to be a Monday.
Considering that Epic Games will want to capitalize on this new phase of the storyline, launching Chapter 4 on a Monday is a strange choice. That said, they may be pulling a fast one on the community as a surprise. Rather than starting off a new season on a Monday, the developers may likely drop Fortnite Chapter 4 sometime on Sunday itself.
While the downtime period will indeed be followed by the 'Night Night aka Black Hole/To Be Continued' screen, there's no official confirmation that the downtime will last for 48 hours. With the game's developers having an entire year to stress test the Unreal Engine 5, the update could be pushed faster.
This has been somewhat evident during all the major updates in Fortnite Chapter 3. Servers were brought back online barely three hours after downtime began. While there have been a few expectations for this rule, most have followed it.
Granted, Chapter 4 will have a "LOT" of new content being added to it, but there's still enough time to update the game within a smaller time frame. Looking at the timeline, if the Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 4 live event ends at 5:00 pm Eastern Time, the developers still have 12 hours on hand to get everything ready by mid-day.
With that said, all of this information is purely speculative in nature. Given how complex the task at hand is, the update may indeed take 24 whole hours just to be put into place. Once version 23.00 is online, the developers will require several more hours to stress test different elements and ensure that everything works as intended.
If the next installment of the game was Season 5, it would still have made sense as it would be a continuation of Chapter 3. Nevertheless, it's odd that Epic Games chose Monday as the launch date for Fortnite Chapter 4. With no plausible explanation in sight, players will just have to wait for the live event to occur and see how long the downtime lasts.