Popular DJ Marshmello broke two different records after his 2019 Fortnite in-game concert. The concert only lasted 10 minutes from beginning to end, but millions tuned in during the live event and even more streamed it through sites like Twitch and YouTube. The secretive DJ's virtual performance was larger than life, which is why Fortnite was the perfect venue.
Fortnite is a wildly popular online game where 100 players battle each other to the death to be declared the winner. The base game is free, but the developer, Epic Games, makes its profit with outfits, accessories, and emotes that are available through in-game purchases. Fortnite is no stranger to huge audiences for their in-game events. In November of 2018, over 8 million people logged on to view the destruction of a purple cube. Considering the fact that Fortnite boasts 200 million registered players, that's just a fraction of the amount of players.
Marshmello's virtual concert easily bested that amount. Over 10 million players tuned in to the game's first virtual concert, according to Epic Games. The 10 minute concert was a mashup of Marshmello's biggest hits, including his song "Alone," "Chasing Colors" which features Ookay and Noah Cyrus, and "Everyday," which Marshmello recorded with rapper Logic.
Along with the big hits, there were also amazing visuals and effects that wouldn't be possible in the real world. Giant holographic dancers performed on stage with Marshmello's avatar. Holograms of Marshmello would also appear during key moments in songs, often performing hit dances like flossing and Marshmello's own "marsh walk." There were also jaw-dropping effects like the gravity being turned down so players' avatars could leap astounding distances in the air, or gravity being turned all the way off so players could fly freely.
Marshmello tweeted about the experience after the fact, "We made history today! The first ever live virtual concert inside of @fortnite with millions of people in attendance. So insane, thank you epic games and everyone who made this possible!" He also tweeted several videos of people watching the virtual concert and dancing along to his performance.
The whole experience made for an otherworldly concert. It could never be replicated in real life, though hologram technology is on its way to reaching this level. There's still more preparations to be made before the virtual world, especially video games, are ready for events of this nature. In fact, in order to get Marshmello's concert to go on without distraction, Fortnite suspended players' ability to use their weapons in order to keep the event violence free. As soon as it was over, however, and players regained the ability to virtually murder without restriction, the event turned into a bloodbath. Still, especially with the current spread of coronavirus and considering the many people under stay-at-home orders, these virtual concerts could become a regular part of life.