Last month, DJ Marshmello took to the virtual streets of Fortnite and performed a free in-game concert for any player that could make it to Pleasant Park by a certain time. As has been the case for all of Fortnite’s in-game events, this one went off without a hitch, and while the numbers coming in from the concert are mind-blowing, the consequences of such an event, and what they mean for the future of how music is presented, are perhaps even greater.
Leading up to the event, Fortnite partnered with the DJ to advertise the event, with posters for the concert hanging in various parts of Fortnite’s map, and Epic Games even allowing players to unlock Marshmello-themed items in the days leading up to the concert. During the event itself, players were all situated in front of a stage, with a virtual Mashmello playing some of his hits while also encouraging everyone in the game to get up and move. The show even featured some staples of an actual music festival, with Marshmello performing a small set of songs, releasing beach balls into the crowd, and even enabling players to fly. Immediately after the concert ended, Fortnite fans across the world jumped to social media to talk about just how perfect the event had gone.
As has been the case for all of Fortnite’s in-game events, the concert also went off without a hitch, and while the numbers behind the event are mind-blowing, the consequences of such an event, how what it might mean for the future of how music is presented in games, is even greater. Players all felt like they were literally a part of the show, and unlike most concerts, there was no fee, no standing around, and no having to deal with insane traffic once you wanted to leave.
According to a tweet from Game Awards creator and longtime industry member Geoff Keighley, more than 10 million concurrent players were watching the concert, which would make it one of, if not the most-watched concert in the history of music. Beside the fact that 10 million people were watching the concert at the same time the event also helped spotlight just how music can be presented differently and still seen by the masses, especially when it comes to games. And this isn’t a new or isolated phenomenon. Just earlier this year, Minecraft hosted its Fire Festival, featuring performances from more than 50 up-and-coming artists and musicians.
Unlike Fortnite’s event, the Fire Festival in Minecraft allowed users to literally walk through the festival stages, which made things feel much more like a music festival than anything that’s been done before. When it comes to games, artists are now more aware than ever before, with performers like Marshmello and Deadmau5 (who has done Minecraft-themed concerts before) all looking to push the boundaries of music.
With the massive success of Marshmello’s concert and the incredible job that Epic Games did marketing and pulling it off, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see more of these virtual concerts taking place. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be able to take in Coachella in the virtual world of the hottest new game.