Nobody likes to feel they've been conned, especially when it comes to providing entertainment for their children. Last weekend, many parents paid for tickets to a two-day Fortnite Live event at Norfolk Showground in the UK, but what was supposed to be a fun-filled weekend turned into a bit of a flop when the event didn't live up to expectations. In fact, some have (perhaps a bit dramatically) compared the event to the disastrous Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival that has since become a legend in how not to run events.
The problems began when over 40% of the event staff failed to turn up for work, meaning most of the event's 2,800 attendees were left queueing for hours. Some were still trying to get in over two hours after the event opened, but it seems like they weren't missing much.
The event advertised "Live Games playing throughout the day, Dance Battles to end all battles, Challenges, Crazy Competitions, Awsome [sic] activities, Screens of your favourite YouTubers playing non-stop and of course Shopping, and so much more!" Well, the live games did indeed exist, with 73 consoles set up for the playing of Fortnite. There was also a "small" stage set up for the flossing dance competition, and competitions for up to ten people at a time. However, this is just about where the ties to the game end. As an unofficial event, there were very limited shopping opportunities for actual merchandise, it instead being replaced with unrelated items that even included drug-related clothing with "cocaine and caviar" slogans.
There was nobody cosplaying as any of the characters, and the majority of the activities on offer were unrelated to the show. There was a climbing wall, go karts, firing range, basketball shooting, laser tag, archery, a bouncy castle, and a cave experience described by one exasperated parent as "a trailer, no bigger than a car, with a tunnel through it". They're all the sort of activities you would find at a fairground, and not something you would expect to find at a gaming event.
The result was a queue for refunds that was longer than the queue to get in. The event organiser, Exciting Events, has stated that they were "dealing with everybody on an individual basis" in terms of refunds, but that they believed they had "put on a fantastic show with lots of activities and lots of people enjoyed themselves." Meanwhile, developer Epic Games has distanced themselves from the event, stating they "did not authorize and are not associated with this event", although they failed to comment any further.
Fortnite Live was due to run again in March at Spalding and in April at Newark Showground. Tickets are currently on sale for Spalding but are unavailable for Newark. With the disastrous publicity following in the wake of the Norwich leg of the event, we doubt very much that either of those two weekends will run in their current form, if at all.
We've got the full list of Fortnite achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
Check out our Best Xbox One Third-Person Shooters Available in 2019 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
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