Update: Not longer at all! Season X is up and running.  as of 5:20 AM Eastern.

It’s that time again: time to set the clocks and wake up early to discover a treasure trove of Fortnite-related riches with the arrival of a new Season. Or, perhaps, maybe not quite so early as usual. Season 9 has been a little longer than usual with these extra two weeks of Overtime challenges, birthday celebrations and World Cup competition, and it seems like it’s going to be just a little bit longer yet. Downtime is scheduled to start at 4:00 AM Eastern, like usual, but it’s looking like that downtime ould be extended for a larger patch size.

Oh, and another note: it’s not Season 10, despite what the headline might say. It is “Season X”, as per Epic Game’s Nick Chester.

If you look at Epic Game’s public server status page, it shows tomorrow’s maintenance as scheduled from 8:00-12:00 UTC, or a sizeable four hours. A longer downtime would stack with a larger file size, which Epic warned about on Twitter:

Patch sizes for the Season X launch will be larger than normal on all platforms. Drop into the action once the download completes!

— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) July 31, 2019

There’s no guarantee that the downtime will be exactly four hours because there’s never a guarantee things will stick to schedule. But it does look like things will be longer than usual.

The question would then become: why? We have an idea of what’s going to happen when the servers go back up thanks to a leaked cinematic that shows Jonesy travelling back in time to Season 3, moments before the meteor hit and Fortnite’s absurdly convoluted plot got underway. We also see a variety of what look to be variations on old battle pass skins, suggesting that we’re doing a sort of “best of”, where we get to look at all sorts of old points of interest from previous seasons, perhaps in rapid succession.

If that was the case, it would make sense why we would need a larger file. Most of the time there’s only one big set of map changes, but there would theoretically be more work if Epic was getting ready for a season-level map change every week, even if it was stuff that we’ve already seen before.

Or, who knows? It could be something entirely different, or it could just be server-side stuff that won’t show up in the patch notes. We’ll see what happens when the servers come back online.Dave ThierSenior ContributorI’m a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic, IGN.com, Wired and more. I cover social games, video games,…Read More