Fortnite is always finding the next cool event. We’ve traveled to alternate dimensions, and turned a lake into a giant trampoline. But now we’re seeing one of the most ambitious: Marshmello is performing in concert, in Fortnite.
According to FortniteNews.com, the news started with Fortnite’s release of Patch v7.20. The data-miners descended, finding all kinds of assets for this latest event. Marshmello’s all-white outfit with the marshmallow helmet was uncovered. New Dance animations are coming. But there were a few things that indicated that this was not just a basic drop of new assets. Certain assets seemed to indicate an LTM, or Limited Time Mode would be in effect. This would essentially ensure no player-killing if watching the concert. Remember when a player killed 48 others because they destroyed a viewing platform? Yeah, this has been made to combat those kinds of shenanigans. The Fortnite official Twitter has since confirmed: Marshmello’s concert will take place in Pleasant Park Saturday 2 pm EST (Sunday 6 am AEDT).
Over the past year or so, Fortnite has been on a constant path of an event after event, bringing in players new and old with its environmental storytelling. On one hand, a concert is a natural progression. On the other, really this a jump into uncharted territory. After researching the topic, which is hard considering how many IRL concerts pay tribute to video games, there isn’t much of a precedent. In the end I only found one example: All American Rejects which essentially had an in-game billboard big screen show off videos.
All in all, Fortnite seems to be going for a much more standard concert feel. You can find scaffolding and similar assets as the show is being “set-up”. Suffice to say, it’s an interesting if odd, concept. Consider the nature of concerts. Concerts are all about being in the room, amongst other fans enjoy something being performed for you. Conversely, how does an artist “perform” on a “virtual” stage?
One could argue that regardless of setting that a musician should play their instrument. However, who even knows if or how Epic could handle that kind of technical challenge. Also, what incentive do the people have to adhere to this ruleset. It seems a bit arbitrary for an event in which music plays, and an avatar of a performer is all that one seemingly needs. Essentially, its a surreal little philosophical thought experiment of a concert. We’ll have to wait and see how this all pans out, but it could be a step into a new medium of live performance.
This is not the first team-up we’ve seen between Fortnite and Marshmello. At E3 2018, the DJ teamed up with Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, to win the Fortnite Pro-Am Tournament. It’s interesting and exciting seeing a mainstream music maker aligned with video games. We can only wait and see if more flourishes from this creative relationship.