UPDATE 10pm: Just as Fortnite's latest leaks suggested, Epic's battle royale behemoth is getting a zero-combat mode - and, sorry if you were hoping to catch your breath, it's now live.
Epic is calling its social-focussed new addition Party Royale mode, and has described it in an email sent to content creators (thanks PC Gamer) as an "experimental and evolving space" where players can "leave [their] weapons and mats behind".
It also says it plans to run some in-game tests this Friday, 1st May, at 2pm UK time, which might given a tantalising glimpse at the developer's future intentions for its surprise new mode.
Did anyone else get these emails? Looks like they are doing something about snipers and aim assist.. lmk if you got this because I just got it pic.twitter.com/xqOc0dliTK— HYPEX (@HYPEX) April 29, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY 12.12pm: The latest Fortnite leaks have revealed a fresh island map, which looks like it will play host to a new mode featuring no combat.
The map, codenamed Papaya, looks like a smaller version of the main battle royale island. There's a central hub, which earlier leaks described as a plaza area that hosts phone boxes where you can change skins mid-game.
There are also what look like mini-game areas, where you can challenge friends to foot and vehicle races, glider challenges, football and motorboating.
Long-time Fortnite fans will note the Devourer skeleton from the game's original map also seems to have washed up on shore.
Fortnite leaker ShiinaBR posted the following description of a no-combat mode which seems to be based on the new Papaya map. Instead of Battle Royale, it is named "Party Royale".
"Welcome to the Party! Leave your weapons and mats behind and hang out with friends, play games, perfect your skydive and more. The party's just getting started!"
It might sound an odd concept - a version of the battle royale without the battling. But Fortnite is increasingly becoming a staging ground for other things, and has long been a hangout spot for its players. As we're all stuck inside, why not provide somewhere to unwind and down tools without the stress of combat?
Today's leak comes as via the game's latest v12.50 update, but there's no word yet on when it'll actually be available to play. We've asked developer Epic for more.
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