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Even if you are not a gamer, you have no doubt heard of Fortnite. Regardless of what metric you use, Fortnite is one of the most popular esports in the world and its tournaments are worth tens of millions in prize money each year. There is plenty to love about the game that has taken the world by storm but for all its madness, mayhem, and strategy there is an undeniable uniqueness due to that one thing that brings us all together…music.
In February of 2019, American electronic music producer and DJ, Marshmello, performed live, in the game, in a virtual reality spectacle that saw over 10.7 million show up in-game and got their groove on. Just to make sure no one spoiled the mood; weapons were disabled the avant-garde performance broke a new boundary for the entire world to see.
After the concert, Marshmello, aka Christopher Comstock, said, "We made history today! The first-ever live virtual concert inside of Fortnite with millions of people in attendance. So insane, thank you Epic Games and everyone who made this possible!
"What makes me happiest about today is that so many people got to experience their first concert ever. All the videos I keep seeing of people laughing and smiling throughout the set are amazing. Man, I'm still so pumped."
American rapper, Travis Scott, worked for months with Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, to get his digital concert just right. The only limits were those of their collective imaginations and even those boundaries were stretched when Scott took the virtual stage back in April of 2020. More than 12 million were watching via the Fortnite platform and the graphics were nothing short of stunning.
It is reported that Scott made an astronomical $20 million from the nine-minute concert that had tongues wagging all over the planet when it was finished. Scott stated he became involved with the Fortnite concert affair "to have unlimited fun". He also stated: "It was an opportunity to go to the max, to create a world that permits won't let you do, fire marshals won't let you do, building codes won't let you do."
Epic Games' head of brand, Phil Rampulla, said, "The landscape is changing. You've got to bring something that's awesome. Otherwise, it's 'That's just an ad.' And those things are just getting glossed over."
Andrew Webster, the Senior Entertainment Editor for The Verge, described the surreal scene thusly, "During the opening song a giant Scott stomped around the island, while players could run across the water to catch a glimpse. As the tracks changed, so did the visuals. At one point everything was fiery and Scott turned into a cyborg; later it looked like everyone had been transported to Tron. When "Highest in the Room" came on, the crowd was submerged underwater, along with a giant spaceman. There were rollercoasters and psychedelic effects and at the end players were literally flying around the planet."
Fortnite Popularity Soaring
Epic Games is truly living up to its name and not resting on its laurels regarding its franchise digital offering. Even the best online betting sites have odds on Fortnite tournaments being played all across the globe. The concert series they launched has inspired even more players and spawned oodles of publicity that has taken their brand awareness to staggering heights.
The Battle Royale formats have been inundated because of the success of Fortnite but despite other publishers trying to do tweak this or change that, Fortnite remains the steadfast leader of the genre. The crossover events, featuring music from popular artists and DC comic characters integrated into the game, bring new fans to Fortnite who otherwise would never have interacted.
Currently, in a court battle with Apple after getting booted from Apple's App Store because Epic suggested the game's mobile users pay them directly and avoid Apple's 30 percent commission, it has been revealed they have over 500 million accounts and the company is worth over $28 billion. Staggering numbers to be sure and the trajectory seems to be pointing north.
Jade King, Gaming Editor at Trusted Reviews, described Fortnite thusly, "Fortnite has grown into more than just a game. It's become a metaverse, a digital space where players can come together to play, create and witness virtual events that continue to push forward what is possible in an online space.
"Thanks to the battle royale shooter's immense popularity, Epic Games has been able to push things further than anyone ever could, and it really shows. While it isn't the genre's strongest in terms of mechanical satisfaction, it makes up for that with sheer ambition.
It's arguably been overshadowed by a divisive public reputation, but Fortnite remains one of the finest battle royale experiences on the market, and judging by its current trajectory, is poised to be so much more than that in the years to come."