An epic experience: Just a few months ago we interviewed JJ Abrams in Fortnite, now Epic Games invited you to a free, virtual superlative concert with US star Travis Scott. A perfectly staged spectacle for twelve million gamers, which showed what is possible when nothing works in corona times. Pure video game magic. An experience report.
What a crazy idea: Travis Scott performs in Fortnite and the whole world explodes.
Okay, blatant. There is no other way of describing what we saw in this live concert by US rappers Travis Scott just experienced. We thought he would “dive bomb” onto the stage in the classic way we did Fortnite know. But he did not perform in normal size, but as a 600-meter giant who unpacked his show over the already huge stage and countless Fortnite players bobbed to the beat via emoji – including Deadpool, who was standing next to us. So maybe it wasn’t Ryan Reynolds himself, but some guy in Deadpool costume. And yes, the whole number was crazy, a perfectly staged CGI show in which we keep control: in which we fly, see-saw, dive, take cover from fire. A journey through worlds, fueled by music: through the ocean, into space and back into the worlds of Fortnite. Epic Games believes that their name is obligatory and has cut one out again. Sure, if you earned $ 1.8 billion in 2019 with Fortnite, you can really start, and yet it is impressive, as Epic, as a game developer, is currently showing the giants of the music industry: “Look, we are the cool guys. We’re going to show you how entertainment works. ”
Epic Games shows what is possible when nothing works
We are currently living in strange times when everything feels somehow surreal: would you have ever believed that you would ever walk into a bank with a cloth over your mouth? Just like cowboys in the wild west did when they wanted to attack them. Strange. At the cheese counter in the supermarket you get ruffled because our millimeter measuring tape, the eye, looked 1.50 meters as a different distance than that of an older gentleman who sneaked through the aisles with a pair of tongs so that he didn’t have to touch anything. So it’s good when gaming brings a little bit of normalcy back to everyday life. Accordingly, we were pleasantly surprised when Epic started building the stage on which Travis Scott was supposed to perform. A stage was built all week for this, from cranes, excavators, alien construction workers. Reminded a bit of the preparations for the concert by Marshmello, which was already celebrated in the community. We are talking about a huge planet consisting of an amusement park and exploding speakers. Suddenly a comet appeared on the horizon, everyone thought: All right, let’s go. Travis Scott is about to crash on stage.
But things turned out differently…
Strong idea: Instead of letting the US rapper perform on stage, we are catapulted into the air and taken on a CGI journey through his songs.
Travis Scott rocks the show in mega format
The first beats drop, Travis drops from the sky. Big as Godzilla, however, he stands in front of us and throws us on an event trip that you cannot do justice to with the word “concert”. It was a gigantic, interactive cutscene in which we had constant control over our character. In which we swam, hopped, flew, hovered or even dived when the entire map was submerged. It was crazy. It was video game magic in the most beautiful way, immersed in a choreography with music in perfection. Travis played songs as he pounded around the map like Godzilla, and after the underwater bit, we suddenly shot out into space like Star Wars, only to see a cameo shortly afterwards of Fortnite’s legendary crystal butterfly, which is also in XXXL- Format hovered above and around us. Of course, the moment he smashed his ballad “Butterfly”.
The Travis just sits on a moon and performs his songs while we are jetting through space.
This is video game Maige: the sky is blood red. The stars blur. Travis starts rapping a verse from Stargazing. Everything goes dark. Travis turns into a weird variant of the Terminator, with missiles shooting out of its eyes. Suddenly the lights go out, complete scene change. While the US rapper “Goosebumbs” performs, everything turns black, except for fluffy, colorful strands of light that take on the shape of his body. Energy fields circle around him. The graphic presentation is breathtaking and wonderfully captures the wild atmosphere of the artist’s entire Astroworld album. Honestly, you’ve never experienced anything like it.
The Astroworld album, staged with video game magic
Every song was embedded in a new world, where Epic Games fired everything that went: For example, Travis Scott as an astral figure, only made of colorful LED strips.
No theme park can do this, it can play with our brain and our senses. Like when we swim in an endless ocean while Scott plays “Highest In The Room” – the segment is the perfect essence of the hazy but seductive darkness of this track. Perhaps it was even an alternative concert experience: You know it when you’re standing in this human wall, squeezed like an oil sardine and the three visitors in front of you are waving your smartphone. The whole thing had a certain intimacy in the game: We see this rapper tearing up a complete digital world in front of us and exploding it in neon colors, only to then rebuild it in a visually impressive way. There was an incredible amount of pressure behind it, but also melodically very nicely absorbed and everything ran together as wonderfully as only a video game can. For example, because background dancers blazed before our eyes and from songs like “Sicko Mode” to “Yosemite” the appropriate scenery was rendered / conjured up. A real concert couldn’t deliver that because every viewer has a different perspective on the interpreter and the possibilities of visual effects in the real world are not endless.
Will virtual concerts replace real ones?
Never, but eConcerts could start a new kind of music experience
Could a new form of concert establish itself in games? Of course, there is a virtual shortage, but it also offers other facets that classical music cannot deliver.
Such a Fortnite concert cannot replace real experience. Even when you’re with people, it always seems to be only a handful. Far from the human explosion you’d otherwise experience at a concert – whether it’s Taylor Swift or The Offspring. During these real shows, it’s like everyone comes together to form a bigger whole. Form a completely new living, breathing creature. It is difficult to stand in this crowd and not to be carried away by the intensity and that is exactly what makes it special – the La Ola waves, holding the lighter towards the sky. This raw human element is missing from the Fortnite version, although these millions of people are also part of it. Also because, despite all the planning, a real concert has a certain improvisatory quality. You never know what you’ll get, artists vary their set lists, tell other anecdotes. The way they interact with the audience depends heavily on mood. The Fortnite number with Travis was an eConcert, just like eSports is a different kind of sport. Has a different dynamic, creates different experiences. And that’s a good thing, because video games are the greatest works of art of our time and you can be proud of that.
It was fun, Epic Games again.
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