As was foretold, Fortnite‘s new Party Royale island is real. As an alternative to its main Battle Royale mode, Epic have introduced “a new experimental and evolving space” where friends can hang out and play minigames together or, apparently, attend a concert by DJ man Diplo performing his Major Lazer set last Friday. It was the latest in a series of live events that Epic have been testing in Fortnite and it seems like we can expect plenty more now that they’ve got a dedicated space for them.
In-game concerts of course don’t have the physical presence of a live show if that’s what you’re truly missing this summer, but they have all seemed to play to the strengths of Fortnite’s game space. Instead of giant speakers that you can feel thumping in your chest, the Diplo concert featured Fortnite’s jump pads for folks to play around on, a bunch of laser lights, and some big hologram dancers around the various viewing platforms. On a big stadium-like virtual screen overhead, Diplo himself does his DJ thing live with some backup dancers. Are they at least two meters apart? I can’t tell.
During the set, Diplo makes some attempts to encourage folks in-game to participate in coordinated danging and emoting and hopping about which I suspect were met with mixed success depending on the group you were surrounded by. It may not have the collective feel thousands of folks packed into a concert venue, but I can relate to the excitement of knowing you’re logged in for a live event with people all over the world. It’s not lesser, necessarily, just very different from being out on a lawn or in a stadium seat.
Alice0 says that the recent Travis Scott concert was quite the event, during which “giant holographic Travis descend from the skies to serenade players with an extravegant performance including fire raining from the skies, the world flooding, rollercoaster tracks growing across the skies, everything going topsy-turvy.” It sounds like more of a production than the Diplo concert was, which was maybe more in line with the Marshmellow event from last year.
We can probably expect Epic to continue with more live event experiments now that they’ve got the dedicated Party Royale island branched off from the main battle arena. It may be just one big bus full of media companies cross-promoting their #brands as with the Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker, Borderlands 3, and Avengers: Endgame stuff they’ve hosted in the past but, hey, some of them have been pretty neat on their own merit.