Battle Lab, the Fortnite game mode that replaced Playground, disappeared from the game with Tuesday’s update. Epic hadn’t commented on the surprise removal and, given the lack of patch notes, there was no clear indication that its absence was intentional. Epic has since confirmed that it removed Battle Lab on purpose, but it still hasn’t explained why.
The Battle Lab game mode is essentially the battle royale game island limited just to the player who launches it and anyone in their party. This gives players the chance to practice strategies, scope out locations, and play their own friends-only battle royale matches without a bunch of other players.
The mode was more robust than Playground, however, enabling players to set a bunch of parameters for creating their own version of the battle royale game. This is distinctly different from Creative, which features fan-created islands and gives players various blank environments for creating their own islands.
Following the update earlier this week, Fortnite players noticed that Battle Lab is no longer listed among the game modes — a surprise considering that it was a ‘permanent’ mode rather than an LTM. Some speculated that a bug may have resulted in a temporary takedown, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Known Fortnite data-miner and leaker iFireMonkey on Twitter has published a statement from Epic Games revealing that the mode’s removal was intentional. It doesn’t seem the company hasn’t any plans to bring it back, which would be bad news for creators who used the mode to create video content.