latest event may not have the word-of-mouth of a Travis Scott or Deadmau5 concert, but it did shake things up once again with Fortnite’s ongoing metanarrative. Players have been eagerly awaiting this event as it marks the end of Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 2 which has already been delayed multiple times.
Overall, more than 20 million players attended the event in-game and on Twitch, making it one of the biggest Fortnite events to-date. Let’s break down what happened, and what’s changed.
Fortnite - The Device Event Screenshots
The Device Recap
The event, simply called The Device, focused on The Agency building which has been at the (literal) center of Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 2. Once the event began, sirens began blaring around The Agency as large pillars rose around the surrounding lake. This was accompanied by a large explosion at The Agency, blowing out the center and making way for a giant central pillar that began radiating energy into the sky. Players began slowly floating upwards as the energy surged from the center and pushed the storm backwards from all angles.
Suddenly, players were warped to a non-descript office. In the center of the room was a desk littered with “Top Secret” folders. Before players had a chance to get their bearings and look around, they were warped back to the island where a large storm erupted. Large, purple clouds began gathering and lightning pierced through the sky. Once more, the large central tower emanated energy outwards, changing the colors of the storm and pushing it backwards again.
And then—peacefulness. As if nothing ever happened, the island was suddenly back to normal. Birds began chirping and the sun’s rays engulfed the landscape. The pillars in the lake began to retreat, followed by the large, central tower. Players then found themselves back in the strange office, this time accompanied by phones ringing, papers flying, and a general sense of panic. An unknown male voice urgently explained the situation to someone on the other end of a phone line. The man questioned the bizarre storm we just witnessed, as well as “the loop,” something that has been mentioned by The Visitor prior to Fortnite’s Black Hole event that took it offline for almost 40 hours. There was also a desk plate that read “John Jones” that could be seen amongst the clutter.
Players returned to the island again, this time surrounded by a massive circular tidal wave that seemed to reach the skyline. After a few moments, they were warped back to the office again, this time facing the door. As the door opened it was revealed that the man on the phone was Jonesy, shocked to see someone standing in his office. Jonesy quickly tried to make sense of the situation before players were swept back to the island, concluding the event.
How Does Jonesy Factor In?
While Fortnite doesn’t have a main character per-se, Jonesy has been a constant throughout every season. Originally depicted as one of the default characters you could play as if you didn’t have any skins equipped, Jonesy has been at the core of many of Fortnite’s most popular skins (he even got a “Bunker Jonesy” variant as part of Season 9’s story).
Arguably the most shocking part of The Device was seeing that Jonesy is involved in the “real world” and influencing what happens on the island. For example, the large tidal wave that appeared near the end of the event seemed to be a direct response to the chaos created by the large central tower that appeared in the aftermath of The Agency’s explosion.
From what we’ve gathered, we know this version of Jonesy is named John Jones (indicated by the desk plate) and he is an agent of sorts. Does this mean the Jonesy in Battle Royale is a simulation of this real-world character, or someone different? Agent Jonesy can also be seen wearing a wedding ring indicating he’s married in this real world (and possibly the father to a bunch of little Jonesies).
Many have speculated for a long time that Fortnite Battle Royale is a simulation, given that when you “die” you are “teleported” out of the match by robotic drones and your character is simply a hologram. This explains how multiple iterations of the same characters can be in a match at the same time.
Reddit user JediMudkipYT also spotted four photographs on the wall in the office that depict Jonesy with four unknown characters that players seem to think are potentially related to Fortnite’s Save The World mode. Many are speculating that Battle Royale is a simulation training soldiers to fight in Save The World, and this may be further proof that it’s true.
What’s Happening in the Real World?
During The Device it seemed that Midas, one of Chapter 2 - Season 2’s central characters, was using the machine as a means to break the simulation somehow, all the while affecting the surrounding storm. Whether or not it was intentional, players found themselves in the “real world,” at the very office controlling what happens on the island. Has this mysterious organization been in charge the whole time, pulling the strings from behind the scenes? It definitely seems to be the case. But who is this mysterious organization? Are they somehow related to “The Seven,” a mysterious group of extraterrestrials who first debuted in Season 4 with The Visitor? While we may not know everything now, we’re sure to find out more in the future, possibly as soon as Chapter 2 - Season 3.
This isn’t the first time Fortnite has crossed over into the real world, though. Prior to the reveal of the rift-filled Season 5, a Durr Burger mysteriously appeared in a real-world remote desert in California sparking conversation and fan theories about where Fortnite’s story would go.
What’s Next For Fortnite?
Chapter 2 - Season 3 kicks off on Wednesday, June 17th, and with each new season is likely to bring many changes to the island as we know it. Currently, the storm has been replaced with the tidal wave seen in The Device event, leading to speculation that there may be some aquatic themes in the upcoming season.
Interestingly, Jonesy makes a reference to “the loop” during one of the office sequences. This heavily implies that Battle Royale is a simulation and one that they—whoever they are—are in complete control of. There have been attempts to “break the loop” during Season 9, and now with this event, so maybe more of the characters will become self-aware in the future and try and foil the organization’s plot somehow.
Most importantly, though, we’re all left wondering about this mysterious organization as well as Jonesy’s involvement in it, and I’m eager to see where Fortnite’s story takes us in the future. For a game that may seem simple and cartoonish at first glance, there are clearly more secrets lurking beneath the surface.
Matthew Adler is a Features and News writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @MatthewAdler and watch him stream a variety of games on Twitch.