As they're wont to do, like kids sneaking peeks in their holiday presents, some regular Fortnite dataminers have gone snooping through the game files in today's 12.5 update looking for clues to Fortnite's future.
They've unwrapped what might be a big one: something that appears to be a new, smaller map for Fortnite all about partying and minigaming with friends rather than fighting for victory royales. According to the data leakers, a new map called "Papaya" will have obstacle courses, fishing, and skydiving with friends among other activities.
Here's the map posted by "VastBlast" for your consideration. It's a bit smaller than Fortnite's main map, covered with icons indicating what may be the new activities all around a central hub area.
According to VastBlast, the description for a new Party Mode found on Papaya reads "race around obstacle courses by land or sea, perfect your skydive, go fishing with friends, and more." Vast also posted an image of what they claim is an email from Epic giving a few preview details about upcoming modes. In that screenshot, Party Royale is described as "a new experimental and evolving space."
Epic sure have been doing a lot of experimenting with Fortnite as a live space already, what with last week's Travis Scott concert, the Marshmellow concert last year, and that Star Wars event for Rise of Skywalker.
This does seem a likely new Fortnite-y experiment, but until we've got word from Epic themselves, remember that these are just leaks. Even if VastBlast is totally on point about everything they've found, there could still be tricksies involved. Remember how Respawn tried to pull one over on all of us by offing that fake new legend Forge?
Ah, well now I'm just poking holes in the fun. Have a gander at the maybe new map, it could be a fun way to hang with friends without the pressure to constantly be building and shooting.
As for what's actually in game today, Epic have added Operation: Payload mode for the spy games of Season 2, an Overwatch-like mode where you're either escorting or stopping a vehicle.