UPDATE 4: Epic is still aiming to release Playground again as soon as possible, servers will be gradually rolled out to all regions and platforms:
We’re continuing testing on our matchmaking improvements and are still aiming to open the Playground LTM as soon as we’re confident in our improvements. Once we have confirmed that our testing was successful we will begin gradually rolling servers out to all regions and platforms until it’s available to all players.
Our next scheduled update is planned for 12pm Eastern Time.
UPDATE 3: Epic’s Technical Director has posted another brief update in a reply on Reddit talking about some of the issues they are working on to get the mode back up:
The real update is that the team is working extremely hard and we have made progress in fits and starts. It’s a hard problem. We’ve made progress throughout the day and have been continually load testing changes in an effort to get to a performance level where we’re comfortable turning Playgrounds back on. We hope to share some more details soon, but right now we’re all focused on solving the problems that are keeping us from enabling the mode again. I’m optimistic about some of the recent breakthroughs that our team has come up with, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
We are all at least as bummed as you that it’s not already back online and we’re working to get you back in there as soon as we possibly can. We’ll try to keep you posted as often as we can, especially if we have any new information.
Thanks everybody for your patience!
UPDATE 2: Here’s the latest from Epic Games on the Playground LTM:
We’re continuing to test improvements made to our matchmaking services for the Playground LTM. We want to get you out there and let you unleash your creativity but also want to ensure a positive experience once we enable this game mode again. We’ll give you more updates and a timeline as soon as we have one.
UPDATE 1: An Epic Games developer has posted on Reddit a more in-depth explanation for the issues regarding why Playground LTM was taken offline.
I’ll see what I can do about a more complete answer once everything is fixed, but here’s a (slightly) condensed version.
When you make matches for every 1-4 people, it requires between 25x and 100x as many matches as normal per 100 people depending on their party size.
Playground LTM launch was VERY popular and the poor matchmaker was trying to create and allocate matches faster than it could keep up with, so a backlog built up. This strained the system, which affected matchmaking times for regular game modes too. In order to preserve the base play experience, we took Playgrounds offline while we made improvements to the matchmaking system.
We’ve been working on major matchmaking improvements over the last 24 hours, and we’ve also isolated Playground matchmaking to its own cluster so if it gets backed up, the worst that happens is longer Playground matchmaking times while the regular modes are unaffected.
We’re testing all of this now, and we’re working hard to get Playgrounds live again as soon as we think it’s ready.
Additional Comment: There is a very good chance based on the data I saw that matchmaker was creating online game lobbies faster than any game in history has ever done. We’ve got world-class engineers, but even we are sometimes blown away by how popular this game is. Just wanted to throw a public shoutout to those awesome people working to make Matchmaker even more the best 🙂
On Private Hosting: Had a few questions about this, but server capacity is not an issue and Fortnite code does not work without client/server interactions (for a whole bunch of reasons), so hosting games on your own would not work. The fundamental issue of creating and tracking matches at this pace was the issue, not the availability of servers to host them.
Epic Games has posted a new update on Reddit regarding the Playground LTM, which was taken offline yesterday after Epic found issues with the matchmaking of the mode.
Epic says they are working to separate Playground matchmaking from the default modes and plan to bring the new improvements and the mode itself back later today.
Yesterday we launched the Playground LTM. So many of you rushed in to create and play that our matchmaking service fell over. We’ve since separated the Playground matchmaker from the one that affects the default modes and made large improvements to assist with the number of players. We plan to push these changes and improvements live later today to bring the Playground LTM back online.
We’ll give you more updates and a timeline as soon as we have one.