That eclipsed the last in-game concert, which Marshmello headlined and brought in10.7 million concurrent players in February 2019, as well as “The End” event, arguably Fortnite’s biggest gameplay-related event. “The End,” which saw Fortnite servers shut down while a black whole reset the world for Fortnite: Chapter 2, only pulled in six million players.
If you missed the first part of this event, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to participate in the next coming dates and times from April 24 and 25:
- THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020 AT 4:00:00 PM PDT
- FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020 AT 7:00:00 AM PDT
- FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020 AT 9:00:00 PM PDT
- SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020 AT 8:00:00 AM PDT
- SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020 AT 3:00:00 PM PDT
Fortnite developers called this Astronomical event a “one of a kind musical journey,” featuring Travis Scott and the world premiere of a brand new track “The Scotts.” The event started with Travis arriving in-game in his personalized meteor and exploding onto the stage area at Sweaty Sands (to the beat of his hit song “Sicko Mode” of course) as a giant-sized version of himself where he rapped and danced to the rest of the song’s chorus while traversing around the map. The sky exploded into a vibrant shade of red while fireballs began to rain down on players as Travis rapped the second part of his song “Stargazing” while becoming part-cyborg. His cyborg form stuck around while he sang “Goosebumps,” during which flowing colorful neon lights you’d find in a glow-in-the-dark psychedelic party began to appear in the darkened sky.
After finishing his performance of “Goosebumps,” Travis fell back onto the map and splashed into the ocean, teleporting players to the depths of the water where he started to perform “Highest in the Room” in his scuba diving Fortnite skin. The event then threw players were out of the ocean and into an area with a laser show while Travis rapped “Like A Light” before flying players through the skies with the much anticipated debut of his new song featuring Kid Cudi, “The Scotts.” The event culminated by shooting players through a butterfly rift in the sky and teleporting them back into the normal world of Fortnite.
Travis Scott dropped the full track at midnight on April 23rd after the event launched. After the event’s debut, Travis tweeted:
HONESTLY TODAY WAS ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRING DAYS. LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF U GUYS. AND I KNOW TIMES ARE WEIRD FOR US. BUT FOR ONE MOMENT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE RAGERS TO RAGE WHERE EVER YOU ARE IS AMAZING. LOVE U GUYS WITH ALL MY BODY. !!!!! GANG
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Not only did this in-game performance break records, it also brought to light a new way for people to experience music. One of the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected life around the world is the mass cancellation of major concerts and music events, including any tours artists or bands may have had in mind for 2020. Fortnite’s collaboration with Travis Scott brought a unique musical experience for not just gamers but for anyone for free. The concert required no ticket or travel, just the ability to download Fortnite (a free game), and hop online. The event channeled the trappings of a live concert — a major artist, impressive staging — and married it with the virtual, malleable world of Fortnite. The show could take players beyond whatever real-world theater they might have seen it in, and offered an experience built with obvious care and thought to what putting it into a game would mean. Wherever Travis went, the players were right there with him, going through his musical journey together.
Astronomical brought together people who weren’t necessarily dedicated fans of Fortnite to this showcase. It’s an innovative, intimate way to experience concerts virtually. When Marshmello put on his in-game concert, it was like a stage show you’d go to for a music festival. Astronomical put participants at the heart of the event and attempted to channel the music into the game’s world, rather than just playing it through Fortnite.
Whether we see more events like this in Fortnite or other games, the Astronomical event has set an exciting precedent for making a virtual concert both accessible and thoughtfully crafted in a way we’ve rarely seen in gaming before. Concert performers and creative producers didn’t have to worry about how to get people to see Travis Scott’s performance, whether due to location, physical limitations of a venue and its accessibility options, or other reasons. Instead, anyone with access to a free game could experience the same unique performance together.. This could be a step in paving the way toward providing safe, individualized, yet still immersive musical experiences, while also bringing entirely new or lapsed audiences into the world of games..
Did you get to check out Astronomical yet? If you missed it, you can check out our entire recording of the event at IGN.com and our YouTube account. Let us know how you felt about this event in the comments below.