RALEIGH – The new Fortnite is here; the virtual  black hole through which the original disappeared on Sunday has closed. In its place as of early Tuesday is Fortnite Chapter 2. And reaction is building.

Alex McClarnon, a WRAL-TV editor and photographer, is a video game enthusiast and a veteran at playing Cary-based Epic Games’ Fortnite. He talked with WRAL TechWire about the new version.

‘”I do play Fortnite, as well as numerous other games,” McClarnon says. “Video games are a passion of mine, so I keep up with all of what’s going on in the video game world.”

  • Your reaction to the new fortnite as an expert/player?

Everyone in the Fortnite community is super excited about Fortnite Chapter 2. It essentially marks a new beginning for the game, which had seen a decrease in players over the past year due to various things implemented in the game.

[Epic faces growing competition in the battleroyale space and has been expanding its efforts into esports. While Fortnite has never been stagnate, some changes since its launch two years ago have not been embraced by the vast audience which at times numbers millions of simultaneous players.]

Fortnite’s back: ‘Chapter 2’ launches with many changes after black hole absence ends

  • What’s different?

The entire map has been remade from the ground up with new points of interest and areas to discover. New game mechanics, like fishing, have been added. I haven’t been able to play it yet because I’ve been here at work, but the general reaction seems to be good so far.

  • Is this new ‘chapter” as potentially exciting as the original Fortnite and its later evolution/additions?

I would say this new chapter is as exciting, if not more exciting, than the original. Every 10 weeks Epic would release a new “season” of Fortnite, with big changes to the game each season. By the end of the ten seasons the map and game got very complex and confusing for a lot of players that may have missed out on some of the seasons. This Chapter 2 effectively acts as a big reset button for the community.

  • What was your reaction to the black hole play?

I thought the black hole play was really fun. The in-game event that took place was breathtaking. The 38ish hours built up a lot of anticipation. I know it was played off as “Fortnite might be deleted” but that was never going to be the case.

We all knew that something new was coming, we just didn’t know exactly what. Epic has really played this entire event very well, from in-game stuff to media coverage on it.