Epic Games can put on an in-game show unlike any other developer, and this past week. The company outdid itself, however, for an “Astronomical” event with rapper Travis Scott that had 27.7 million unique players participating.
Immediately after the opening main event on Thursday night, Epic announced that it had a maximum of 12.3 million concurrent players participating, breaking a record for players participating in such an event.
In 2019, Fortnite held a similar concert-style in-game event with Marshmello as the headline act. That concert brought in 10 million viewers.
The Astronomical event had five “performances” from Thursday to Saturday located at Sweaty Sands. The concerts, which lasted about 15 minutes, included new songs from the rapper as well as a giant hologram of him and special effects that altered the entirety of the Fortnite map.
With much of the world closed down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this Fortnite “concert” served as a way for people to finally get a taste again of a social music experience.
While some other developers use events to boost active users, Epic’s ability to practically make Fortnite almost akin to a massively multiplayer game with massive one-time events has continued to set the game apart from others.
Outside of this event, Epic has had a slew of pop culture events including a Marshmello concert last year, and a Star Wars sneak peak for the recent “The Rise of Skywalker” movie. Additionally, the developer’s ability to create unique events specific to Fortnite lore have mustered a lot of attention as well.
Last fall, Fortnite generated some of the largest viewership on Twitch for a “Black Hole” event in October. Shutting down servers in preparation for a new season of content, Epic Games left players with only a black hole to look at in their game client. The event confused players, but at the same time intrigued many who were left wondering what the next step would be for the game.
On Twitch, the Travis Scott event caused a massive surge in viewership, but only for a very short period of time. While the initial concert peaked at more than 651,000 viewers on Twitch, the short length of the event led to a hard dip in viewership immediately after it was over.
Outside of the initial evening, the events during the weekend that succeeded that initial concert didn’t produce much in the way of viewership for Twitch.