Epic Games’ latest major in-game live music event could be its biggest yet. The psychedelic Ariana Grande live experience on Fortnite was a multi-day affair that hooked into wider storytelling on the games platform.
The concert followed previous in-game concerts featuring rapper Travis Scott and Marshmello.
Whereas those events were one-off experiences, the Grande event tied into multiple aspects of the platform, from the way the tour was announce to the tie-ins with aliens and iconic Fortnite moments and imagery.
“The sequence kicked off with players surfing a rainbow racetrack, hitting power ups in a cross between Mario Kart and Splatoon,” describes Tech Crunch. The racetrack sequence was followed by bouncing players through a Dr. Seuss-style landscape with candy-pink trees and giant floating eyeballs before dropping them into a mini-game shooting down the game’s Storm King boss to Wolfmother’s “Victorious.”
“Finally, in a black room lit by stars, a towering Grande appeared, taking players through an extremely surreal world,” explains The Verge. “There were giant floating bubbles in the sky, a ride on a glittering llama, an M.C. Escher-style castle, and finally the pop star emerging from a crack in the ground to smash all of her fans with a bejeweled hammer.”
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Grande even looked like a Fortnite character, The Verge noted, with glowing white eyes and a dress made of shimmering shards of glass. You can, of course, buy a skin so you can play as her in-game.
Earlier this year, Epic’s chief creative officer Donald Mustard described Fortnite as “an opportunity to almost create a new medium.”
READ MORE: Fortnite’s experimental story is an attempt to create ‘the entertainment experience of the future’ (The Verge)
Fortnite doesn’t have a traditional plot or characters, but instead uses live events and its ever-changing world as tools to create a long-running narrative.
“Steadily, nearly every aspect of the game has been pulled into this focus on storytelling, even the copious licensed tie-ins,” Mustard said.
Travis Scott’s in-game performance was seen by 12.3 million live viewers. The Ariana Grande event is likely to top that and persuade many more artists to engage in the Metaverse.