Is Ariana Grande's Fortnite collab the future of live concerts?
Fortnite got a Grande makeover
Kicking into full gear on Friday, Fortnite's Rift Tour included everyone's favourite high pony pop star Ariana Grande. Like last year's Travis Scott concert, players were taken on a journey through some of Grande's greatest hits.
Grande guided Fortnite fans through bizarre alternate dimensions laced in all shades of pink, metallics, and rainbows. But this wasn't just a live concert, as players were able to interact with various elements in the game. For instance, when transported to a dark realm inhabited by the creator of Fortnite's iconic shrinking force field, players were able to shoot both the demon and his spawn.
Each song beckoned a new map, with 'Seven Rings' being the first of Grande's anthems to appear. The singer's own avatar was huge compared to standard players as she sang 'Be alright' to legions of eager fans.
In videos shared by fans, players with their Ariana skins on are roaming through an Olympus style map, with Grande herself guiding players through portals.
— 🦇Jacob🦇 (@fakesmileximh) August 6, 2021
At the climax of the concert, a Godzilla sized Grande sashed through the floor clad in crystal armour and wielding a giant hammer to perform 'Positions'.
“It’s a mutual respect for each other’s worlds. [Grande] was at the top of the list, and so we created this whole journey, roughly, and started painting it out months ago, and approached Ariana, wanting to see what the reaction was, and she was all in," Phil Rampulla, Epic’s head of brand, tells the Independent.
"If I’m going to write a song, how would it show up in a space like Fortnite?’ might be something that musicians in the future are really going to start to think about.”
Forbes reports that Travis Scott's Astroworld concert earned him $20 million, that’s more than 10 record concert nights for a showcase that was under ten minutes long. With Grande's concert undeniably bigger than that of last year, Forbes estimates that the Grande could take home tens of millions of dollars from merchandise sales.
But the fun isn't over just yet. With the concert running all week long, you can still get yourself some Ariana in-game merchandise and experience the concert first-hand.
So with gaming concerts rising in popularity, who could be next to digitalise themselves and enter the world of Epic Games?
Rift Tour Schedule:
Friday, August 6 @ 6 pm ET (11 pm BST, 8 am AEST on August 7)
August 7 @ 2 pm ET (7 pm BST, 4 am AEST on August 8)
Asia and Oceania:
August 8 @ 12 am ET (5 am BST, 2 pm AEST)
EU + Middle East:
August 8 @ 10 am ET (3 pm BST, 12 am AEST on August 9)
August 8 @ 6 pm ET (11 pm BST, 8 am AEST on August 9)