Fortnite, owned by Epic Games, has announced another live concert with Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and deadmau5.
The Party Royale will take place on Friday 8 May at 21:00 EDT (01:00 GMT Saturday) with an encore performance the following day.
Fortnite saw a spike in virtual encounters during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Epic said the game had 350 million registered players in April who collectively spent over 3.2 billion hours in the game.
The company used live concerts as a way of engaging players.
Last month the platform hosted live concerts with Travis Scott and Diplo.
The first show with Travis Scott had 12.3 million simultaneous attendees.
Three hundred and fifty million registered players are an impressive number that makes the game on paper more popular than ever. But the fact that they are registered does not mean that everyone is actively playing. I myself have three Fortnite accounts (I don’t ask why) and Epic does not provide us with details such as “monthly active users”.
Popular consensus was that Fortnite had peaked, probably during last year’s world cup event that made headlines, thanks to the fact that teenagers became millionaires during the competition. Since then, the number of people watching the game on streaming platforms like Twitch has been falling.
However, even if the figure is not truly representative of the fan base, it is clear that the game is still one of the largest in the world and at the highest levels of e-sports and casual games.
The reason why the figures were released is also indicative, since Epic is positioning Fortnite as a game. It wants to become a multipurpose space and with potentially hundreds of millions of people logging in to “relax with friends”, it could compete with some social media platforms if successful.
The party will take place on a new island which players can access even when no live events are taking place.
Epic said this was an opportunity for players to “drop their weapons” and “hang out with friends”. Usually Fortnite players face off in battles to be the last player left.
In addition to the concert, island players will be able to try air obstacle courses at the Skydive Rift and participate in boat races in Fishsticks’ Boat Race and pick up new items in The Plaza.
Any player logging in to Fortnite between 18:00 EDT on Friday and 10:00 on Monday will receive a free and responsive Neon Wings Back Bling for their avatars.
Epic called the island a “new experimental and evolving space”.
The idea of Fortnite as something more than a game is not new. Last December he was the founder of the company, Tim Sweeney asked on Twitter if he saw Fortnite as a game or a platform.
Sweeney replied: “Fortnite is a game. But please ask this question again in 12 months.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, while friends are unable to meet in person, gaming platforms have become a more popular space to connect and relax.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and The Sims have been used by some companies to host business meetings.
Fortnite hosted concerts before the pandemic, but non-combat play may become more important for it and other games as social distance becomes a regular feature of post-coronavirus life.