Fortnite posterImage copyright Fortnite

Epic Games has delayed the release of its new season of Fortnite until June.

Chapter 2, Season 3 of Fortnite was scheduled to be released in just two weeks, but the company said it would extend the current season instead.

Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular video games, attracting millions of players and viewers.

Epic Games would not say why the delay had occurred or if it was related to coronavirus restrictions that have forced developers to work from home.

This is not the first time though that Fortnite has pushed back the release of a season.

Each season brings updates and changes to the games to keep the players engaged. The goal of Fortnite, like all battle royal games, is to be the last player standing, although players do work in teams throughout most of the game.

In a blog post announcing the delay to Season 3, the Fortnite team said it would extend and add new features to the current season.

“We have multiple game updates on the way that will deliver fresh gameplay, new challenges, bonus XP [experience points], and a couple more surprises up our sleeve,” the company wrote.

The first season of Chapter 2, launched in October 2019, lasted months longer than predicted as developers hit multiple delays.

Image copyright Epic Games
Image caption A new island was introduced in Season 2 Chapter 1 after Epic pulled the original game offline for several days

But despite the sometimes slow release of updates Fortnite has remained popular. Like other e-sports and online gaming, it has seen player numbers grow during the coronavirus lockdown.

“A delay might impact [Fortnite’s] viewership in the same way other popular games tend to plateau between updates, but it will ultimately persevere,” said Doron Nir, co-founder of live streaming services provider StreamElements.

This is not the first delay the industry has seen during the coronavirus outbreak.

Game developers can work from home but there are limitations. Most developers don’t have the same processing and graphics power on their home computers that they would have at work. Many companies also require developers to follow strict guidelines to keep new games secret, which can prevent certain updates from taking place outside a company’s office.

Epic Games would not comment for the BBC on the reason behind this delay.