Epic Games delays Fortnite season 3 in wake of George Floyd protests

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Epic Games has once again delayed Fortnite‘s long-awaited season 3.

In a letter to players on Wednesday, Epic said that Fortnite Season 3 will now launch on June 17, nearly a week after its planned release on June 11. A live virtual event called The Device that Epic had planned to hold in advance of the season has been pushed back to June 15. The company initially planned to host the event on Saturday.

Epic said in the letter that it made the decision following the tragic death of George Floyd last month and the racial injustice protests that have subsequently sprung up across the U.S.

“Recent events are a heavy reminder of ongoing injustices in society, from the denial of basic human rights to the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of color,” the company wrote. “We’re acutely aware of the pain our friends, families, team members, players, and communities are experiencing.”

Epic said it will use the next two weeks to allow its “team to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Epic is the latest in a string of video game companies that have canceled or postponed events surrounding big announcements.

Electronic Arts was slated to unveil the new Madden NFL 21 on Monday but delayed the event because it didn’t want to distract from the protests. Sony had planned to hold a PlayStation 5 event on Thursday, where it was expected to unveil games for the console, but canceled it for the same reason. Infinity Ward, which had planned to release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty Warzone Season 4 on Wednesday, said “now is not the time” to be releasing new content.

Fortnite season 3 was supposed to debut on May 1, but Epic ultimately delayed it to June 4 without specifying a reason. The company then pushed its delay back again to June 11.

When the new season finally launches, it promises new maps and what Epic has called “fresh gameplay.” The company also said it has some surprises planned.

In its statement on Wednesday, Epic acknowledged the many delays, and said it appreciated player “patience and understanding during these difficult times.”

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