With millions in "attendance", social media chatter dominated and players reporting feelings of euphoria, joy, and excitement, it is hard to label the Marshmello Fortnite Concert as anything but a resounding, game-changing success.
As if Christopher "Marshmello" Comstock wasn't already the popular electronic DJ amongst a new generation of gamers, his latest envelope-pushing performance in partnership with Epic Games has surely cemented his current reign on top.
The concert was loud. The concert was visually amazing. And, of course, it took place entirely within the game Fortnite.
With the aid of Epic Games temporarily changing the rules of Fortnite, the concert offered a surreal experience that no other online video game has thought to deliver. For around 10 minutes, all acts of in-game violence or attacks were disabled and, at key moments in sync with the music, the game world would defy normal physics to elevate the user's concert-going experience:
What is Next?
While "round 2" of the concert is being speculated online, it isn't entirely clear if the attendance and hype will match the first concert: there was likely a novelty factor at play for many attending and watching online. However, if the buzzing reaction of Fortnite fans proves repeatable, it won't be long until other music icons start finding ways to project themselves, their music, and their brand inside of massively popular online games.
For example, MMORPG's are a genre that could draw big enough crowds to simulated events like a concert and League of Legends already proved that it is possible to turn fantasy characters into musical performers via the K/DA - POP/STARS music video. What is stopping games developer from partnering up with a talented musician to do something fun and creative in-game?
Not much after this Marshmello concert.
Gaming is changing
This week, the gaming community also saw Twitch highlight streamer @TheSushiDragon for his innovative stream set up combined with high energy dancing. His stream is a marvel of live editing, camera work and production quality that, miraculously, is all controlled by TheSushiDragon as he dances.
This and many other creative streams like it are more than just co-existing with gaming communities -- they are thriving amongst them.
Marshmello's Fortnite concert is a sign of changing times and, to those that question the nature of video games as an art form, it was an event that brought up a lot of exciting questions.
During the Fortnite concert, was anyone really "playing" Fortnite? Was Fortnite still a video game? Did Epic Games temporarily own a venue and decide to book Marshmello a room of 10 million people? Are game developers building more than just video games when they gather millions and millions of people each day to exist within the same virtual world?
And perhaps the biggest question of all -- is an online concert within a massively popular in-game world something people would be willing to pay a ticket price for? Marshmello and Fortnite would likely sell-out to fans looking for bragging rights and premium digital goodies, but it would truly be something special if those players were most excited about "attending" the actual concert.
Epic Games routinely reminds us that it does this their own way, regardless of precedent. This concert isn't something anyone asked for, and yet, all signs point to it being something modern gamers can't get enough of.
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