Fortnite’s Rift Tour has interwoven the worlds of music and gaming, leading to an innovative live music experience. With artists of all genres welcoming this technological change, Amrit Virdi explores the new world of gamer gigs.
As a music fan myself, I was sceptical when Fortnite dived into the music industry with Marshmello taking to the game’s virtual stage in 2019. The game is defined as a popular battle game. Whilst watching concerts isn’t its key selling point, 10.7 million people attended the event, making it a huge commercial success.
Since then, Travis Scott brought his ‘ASTROWORLD’ to life in the game, attracting 27.7 million people across 5 ‘Astronomical’ shows. His performance brought a surge in sales of virtual items linked to the event, raking in even more money for Epic Games. Ariana Grande recently followed suit in a pastel dream world show, and British based indie group Easy Life also brought their ‘Life’s A Beach’ album to life in the game.
this has made concerts more accessible, allowing everyone across the world to enjoy music from their idols
But why are so many artists taking advantage of Fortnite as a platform? With the live music industry being shut for 18 months due to the pandemic, artists lost out on the ability to perform live for fans, keep their music relevant and generate revenue. The Rift Tour uses stellar production and graphics to create a magical gigging experience that just can’t be translated across to real life. Additionally, fans can benefit from the game’s sense of community and watch the shows with friends in multiplayer mode, perfect for days in isolation. This has made concerts more accessible, allowing everyone across the world to enjoy music from their idols.
The visually immersive and consuming nature of the shows can be a great way to grab the attention of fans. Travis Scott capitalised on this and used it to showcase his newest single at the time, THE SCOTTS, so it makes sense that this is becoming a popular platform for music in a busy industry.
As with Ariana Grande’s concert, fans can dress like the singer by selecting different ‘’skins’’, making them feel closer to their idols in a socially distanced era. While the artists aren’t singing live in the shows, the graphics and add-ons, which you wouldn’t get at a regular gig, somewhat make up for this.
The Fortnite gigging revolution is just getting started, and it has a lot of potential to grow into an even wider platform in the new technological era. A signifier of how the pandemic has affected technology and the music industry, it’s a welcome change that is here to stay.
In-article video 1 courtesy of @marshmello via @youtube.com. No changes were made to these videos.
In-article video 2 courtesy of @travisscott via @youtube.com. No changes were made to these videos.
In-article image 1 courtesy of @arianagrande via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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