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February 4, 2019 11:31 AM   Subscribe

10m players attended Fortnite's Marshmello concert [Eurogamer] “More than 10 million people played Fortnite on Saturday night to attend its brilliant in-game Marshmello concert, with millions more watching streams online. The DJ set had been teased throughout the week via posters in-game, and the gradual building of a stage in Pleasant Park. As 7pm neared, Fortnite threw players into a match centring on the area - and then removed all weapons. Right on schedule, Marshmello turned up and played a 10-minute set, the performance punctuated by live audio from the DJ himself and interactive sections where players found themselves in low gravity, or able to hover and soar around the neon-lit stage.” [YouTube][Full Concert]

• Fortnite’s Marshmello concert was a bizarre and exciting glimpse of the future [The Verge]
“...up to 60 players across thousands of individual matches were able to watch live. Epic, having learned from past one-time live events like its iconic rocket launch and its most recent freezing over of the entire game map, smartly launched a special game mode specifically for the show. Based on its team rumble mode, it allowed players to respawn if they were taken out by an especially rude enemy trying to spoil the fun. Going even further, however, Epic disabled the ability to use weapons for the entirety of the 10-minute event, which ensured that everyone could have a front-row seat to the spectacle. ”
posted by Fizz (52 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
10 Million people watched this? I’m so confused, and apparently very, very old.
posted by misterpatrick at 11:36 AM on February 4 [17 favorites]


sounds like dramatically more fun than anyone i know had during yesterdays superbowl.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:37 AM on February 4 [21 favorites]


Sixty people from 10 million players got to watch? I am old please explain. Also "punctuated by live audio" - so was it live, was it not, what were people watching? Like I said I be old.
posted by zeoslap at 11:40 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


10 million people watched it in groups of 60.
posted by RobotHero at 11:44 AM on February 4 [11 favorites]


Oh, hey Marshmallo
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:44 AM on February 4 [7 favorites]


So Fortnite is Second Life now?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:49 AM on February 4 [30 favorites]


Six people have been forced to watch this 10 million times or be turned into marshmallows?! WTF, I thought Fortnite was a fighting game.
posted by dobbs at 11:50 AM on February 4 [24 favorites]


As a Dj really don't understand the hype around DJ Marshmallo, where the fuck he came from or what his deal is or why he commands this kind of audience for... 10 minutes. Like, what the fuck does a DJ do in 10 minutes? Mix two tracks together, yell "rewind!" into a mic and walk away?
posted by loquacious at 11:57 AM on February 4 [11 favorites]


ike, what the fuck does a DJ do in 10 minutes? Mix two tracks together, yell "rewind!" into a mic and walk away?

Wild arm pumps and pointing gestures back at the crowd letting them know they're the real stars?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:59 AM on February 4 [11 favorites]


Six people have been forced to watch this 10 million times or be turned into marshmallows?!

No, I think they put the DJ on stage and told the crowd that they would get two DJs if they could not eat it for 5 minutes.
posted by ODiV at 12:01 PM on February 4 [44 favorites]




in a world where the WoW funeral raid happened we're supposed to be impressed by this?
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:10 PM on February 4 [8 favorites]


Wow, that's gorgeous! I really like that it looks like everyone was given special items in place of their weapons. I wonder if the giant beachballs were able to be interacted with and kicked around?

Think of the players who for any reason can't get to live shows ... to be able to see that must have been amazing!
posted by kimberussell at 12:13 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


in a world where the WoW funeral raid happened we're supposed to be impressed by this?

I do not play Fortnite (tried once or twice, I enjoyed the zombie base-building mode more than the Battle Royale). That being said, what I am interested in is how this digital space has drawn so much attention, how it's become more about the social experience and less about the actual game.

Ask any parent, any teacher, any teen right now, just ask them about Fortnite or say the word Fortnite and you'll probably get them to talk to you in a way that any other young person wouldn't. I love that this space is carved out for the kids, do I fully understand it myself, no, but it's not necessarily for me, it's for them.

And I'm glad it exists. I'll also watch from afar and think of my own digital shared spaces from back in the day.
posted by Fizz at 12:23 PM on February 4 [19 favorites]


Yeah thanks for not dumping on this. It's not technically any more complicated than the game they host, but it is a new and exciting use for the client/server system.

I expect technically it was like a 10 minute 3D animated cutscene inserted into the client with like ~ 200K instances, each hosting up to 60 people or so all in near-real time just doing whatever. They probably put the DJ dude in a mocap suit in front of his decks so they could integrate a reasonable facsimile of his performance.

It looked like the players were having a good time hanging out in this virtual space and not killing each other. Kind of an important point.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:25 PM on February 4 [16 favorites]


It looked like the players were having a good time hanging out in this virtual space and not killing each other. Kind of an important point.

From what I've been told, for the most part people aren't too terrible to each other in Fortnite, at least not in the way that they are with many other FPS. Though obviously there is no way to truly get rid of all toxicity when it comes to online gaming, those assholes will always exist, but I get the sense that most people are in Fortnite to just chill, dance, and run around with their friends.
posted by Fizz at 12:32 PM on February 4


This is exactly how I imagined the future to be, but with more cheese and nudity.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:35 PM on February 4 [7 favorites]


Also, I feel like this is being made more into a thing here in N. America and wouldn't raise too many eyebrows over in Japan. Thinking of Hatsune Miku in particular. This has that kind of feel to it. Miku is a purely digital vocaloid construction, but I've seen Miku draw in fans by the droves in similar ways.

People coming together in shared digital spaces is not a new thing, we're just changing how it's represented visually. Where before it was purely in chats with tiny avatars, we're now dancing and emoting our ways into these spaces.
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


My 11-year old son was as excited about this as he is about any other event in Fortnite, and quite enjoyed all the dancing and fireworks and low gravity and the laser display, not knowing much about the DJ or in fact that he's watching an avatar animated by a real person in real time, but when it ended after 10 minutes he was kinda 'meh', or 'is that all?'.
posted by hat_eater at 12:42 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


From what I've been told, for the most part people aren't too terrible to each other in Fortnite

From my limited experience with my son (we played on the Switch a couple times) and while it wasn't really our thing, it was not obnoxious. We weren't instantly fragged when we dropped on a map and we were largely ignored if we weren't shooting at anyone. What I found kind of interesting is the amount of young kids that were on it. One of the times we played a pair of little kids, who had left their microphone on, argued who could control the character on the map. I will agree that the non-game parts of the culture surrounding Fortnite are interesting.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:44 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


What I found kind of interesting is the amount of young kids that were on it. One of the times we played a pair of little kids, who had left their microphone on, argued who could control the character on the map.

Indeed, I had some younger nephews and nieces visit me a few months ago and their parents had to establish ground rules for wifi usage and limitations on the amount of time they could play Fortnite. When I let my one niece play on my gaming PC as opposed to her mobile phone, her eyes lit up with joy. I became the "cool" Uncle on that day. :)
posted by Fizz at 12:47 PM on February 4 [7 favorites]


Hah, that was actually pretty cool to watch. Must have been fun. I would have been crazy for something like this when I was younger and playing WoW. Turning off gravity when the beat drops? Fun stuff.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:55 PM on February 4 [6 favorites]


If you think this is weird, let me tell you about the time in 1983 when 106 million people sat at home and stared at screens to see a bunch of actors on a fake set that looked like a Korean War medical facility.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:58 PM on February 4 [29 favorites]


I would have been crazy for something like this when I was younger and playing WoW.

Back when Booty Bay fireworks on NY Eve and the Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftains at Darkmoon were the pinnacle of MMORPG-entertainment!
posted by kimberussell at 1:03 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


I loved this! I built a gaming computer from old parts for a friends kid over Christmas, mostly for them to play Fornite, and then installed it on my own machine to get to dust off my old gaming skills.

Anyway, literally stumbled across the live version of this-- I logged in to this squads game on the weekend, first team to get 200 kills wins, but as the game starts, there's a big countdown and a disco beam coming from the center of the map, didn't find many people to shoot at, so start heading to the light-show.

So I'm ambling over there, kinda unsure what's going on (I'm still pretty new to everything). As I get closer I see it's a stage, and then all the guns go away-- then the DJ gets on stage, with decent mocap all sync'd with the music/performance. As the songs play, giant holograms dance around, your characters start flying with the beats of the music, gravity gets altered as the beat drops. Everyone's dancing and having fun— just amazingly fun.

If this is how serious (in a silly way) we're doing games now, I am all in.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:10 PM on February 4 [14 favorites]


I am not ashamed to admit that about 10 years ago, my level 70 Druid celebrated New Year’s Eve in the Stormwind city square, in the crowd in front of the bank. Dancing on a crate in bear form, popping off fireworks, and casting Mark of the Wild buffs on fellow revelers!
posted by darkstar at 1:11 PM on February 4 [10 favorites]


My "interpretation" of what happened:
- In-game promotion for forthcoming event
- At time of event, people were transported (?) to 60-person max instances (to manage server-loads), weapons taken away (and if someone managed to kill you, you'd respawn right there), and characters could float/fly
- much-hyped Marshmello [Wikipedia] played for 10 minutes
- Fin.

It sounds like a tech demo more than anything else, showing off what the game can do. I'm not knocking it, I think it's interesting. It may be that Fortnite is trying show that they can manage (and potentially monetize?) virtual performances to perspective investors, or just further hype their game, though 10 million simultaneous players is already a pretty large-scale MMO.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:12 PM on February 4 [7 favorites]


Yeah, Fortnight is definitely big in kidspace. My 16 year old and his friends have moved on to other games, because "I don't want to have to be a big brother during game time." ;)

That said, this event looks like it was cool, and enjoyed by the target audience, and I think it's kinda awesome to see some SecondLife-ish community efforts being made by gaming companies. I would like to see more community building efforts from other publishers.

Re Wow Funeral Raid; that was only like 50 people. It was just infamous because it really pissed people off. On the happy side; Wow does a couple of things like this fortnight event, there's Auction House Disco Party, Naked Gnome Run, and others. (Edit to say: Wow Funeral Raid=a girl in a guild died in real life, the guild was having a funeral at her favorite fishing spot, a much bigger stronger guild showed up and murderized them all, then camped their corpses and murderized them again. Excuse: PVP server.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:16 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Very cool!
posted by carter at 1:19 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Fortnite is trying show that they can manage (and potentially monetize?) virtual performances

Epic made an estimated $3 billion (yes, with a "b") in profits last year selling virtual dance moves and assorted bling in their free-to-play game.

I think they're set.
posted by The Bellman at 1:20 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


So, Lord of the Rings Online, like a couple of older MMOs, has a full player-defined music system with a bunch of different instruments. Your character goes into a playing animation and nearby players can hear whatever music file (defined by ABC notation, but if you're not familiar with that just think MIDI files from the web 1.0 days) you're playing. Some third party plugin authors found a clever way to sync things up across clients so everybody starts playing music at the same time.

The obvious result is that people started forming in-game bands. Most of them just go to a random in-game pub they like or find a random stage in the game world (which, this is Middle-Earth, so there are lots of both) and start playing to whoever will listen. Most of them have regular times and places to show up and play, so if like you a particular band you can find them again later on.

Anyway, the obvious next step would be to start arranging big, festival-style concerts, which is exactly what happened. The biggest and best known of these is Weatherstock, which takes place every year at the summit of Weathertop, a.k.a Amon Sûl, a.k.a. the place where Aragorn and the Hobbits were attacked by Ring-Wraiths and Frodo got stabbed. I guess they could have done the concert at the Party Tree, but where's the fun in that?

Which is all to say that if you would like to listen to nearly three hours of a concert in a video game, rather than a measly ten minutes, you can watch the most recent Weatherstock on YouTube. (No gravity tomfoolery here, but it's a player-run event, so they don't get any dev tools to do wild stuff with.)
posted by tobascodagama at 1:22 PM on February 4 [18 favorites]


It sounds like a tech demo more than anything else, showing off what the game can do. I'm not knocking it, I think it's interesting. It may be that Fortnite is trying show that they can manage (and potentially monetize?) virtual performances to perspective investors,

Yeah, I could see this turning into an annual thing, where they have seasonal concerts, the way Overwatch does Halloween/Christmas special events/games. Honestly, I'd be more inclined to tune into just a purely social Fortnite space. If I could log into Fortnite or Overwatch and just run around and not have to shoot anything and I was there to just dance and chat and build stuff, TAKE MY MONEY.

I like the cartoon-y social sides of these games, the shooting often just gets in the way for me. But I realize I'm a very specific type of gamer.
posted by Fizz at 1:30 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


That LOTRO Weatherstock video is pretty funny!

My favorite band is playing last. Fast-forward to 2:25:20 see them play “Eye of the Tiger” and then close out the concert with...heh...”Tainted Pies”.
posted by darkstar at 1:40 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't mean to crap on the post or thread, nor the event. I've been independently boggled by Marshmello before and on various DJ focused forums people are generally "What? Why?" about him.

The event and use of game space sounds fun, if kind of hyped.

not knowing much about the DJ or in fact that he's watching an avatar animated by a real person in real time, but when it ended after 10 minutes he was kinda 'meh', or 'is that all?'.

Download the free, open source software MIXXX for him and show him how to rip MP3s from YouTube! You can get tolerable little MIDI controllers like the Korg NanoKontrol for pretty cheap, and decent DJ controllers for not much more.

Because DJing isn't actually that difficult and it's a lot of fun. With digital Djing you get to play with your music just like a video game.
posted by loquacious at 1:45 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


If I could log into Fortnite or Overwatch and just run around and not have to shoot anything and I was there to just dance and chat and build stuff, TAKE MY MONEY.

That's funny, as my son essentially said the same thing. If he could just goof around and build... I'd have to give them all MY money.
posted by Ashwagandha at 2:44 PM on February 4


If I could log into Fortnite or Overwatch and just run around and not have to shoot anything and I was there to just dance and chat and build stuff, TAKE MY MONEY.

That's funny, as my son essentially said the same thing. If he could just goof around and build... I'd have to give them all MY money.


Yeah, I agree. I bounced off of Fortnite pretty quickly, because I didn't have the patience to keep getting killed while I figured out how to play, but if they do more stuff like this I might give it another chance.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:56 PM on February 4


I bounced off of Fortnite pretty quickly, because I didn't have the patience to keep getting killed while I figured out how to play,

Playing the original base-building zombie horde mode might be your jam. It's a good way to learn the mechanics of the game without the pressure of being headshotted. If you're still interested in learning, this is a good way to ease into battle royale mode.
posted by Fizz at 3:01 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


It's great how social the game seems to be. Sat next to a mother and her young son on a train journey recently, I was curious when the first thing he asked was "does this train go through tunnels?" Turned out it was because he spent most of the trip playing Fortnite on his switch and chatting with his friends, and tunnels inevitably got him killed.
posted by lucidium at 3:05 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Epic added a Creative Mode, player designed/built "islands" that you can share with others, a while back. You can login to your own Island and just build whatever you want/explore the game mechanics. When you startup Creative you can choose to go to your own island, one of several highlighted shared islands, or input the Code for a specific Island.
posted by zinon at 3:09 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


What I like about events like this is they help people imagine these games as more than they are on the surface. It's not just a cartoony shootyman game, it can be a concert where you dance too! So much early gaming was about possibilities and openness. The original plan for Ultima Online for instance, where no one quite knew what the game would be and a lot of unexpected things happened. Games have become much more narrow over time, it's fun to see this open up. Particularly something like Fortnite which has in its skeleton some very creative and flexible stuff.
posted by Nelson at 3:12 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


"If I could log into Fortnite or Overwatch and just run around and not have to shoot anything and I was there to just dance and chat and build stuff, TAKE MY MONEY. "

I really am surprised this sort of thing isn't a reality yet. Between Second Life and VR Chat, a modern social reality game could definitely be a Big Deal. Second Life looks like shit, runs like shit, and is old and awkward. Today even a free game engine package will have better looking and functioning assets included. Give the millions of artists a way to easily add shit to the game, set em up with some minecraft/lego terrain system, and let them just walk and hop around and chat, people will flock to it.

Seems like a billion dollar idea and the sort of thing that will spawn a dearth of viral crazes and incentives to participate.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:19 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Custom Minecraft servers definitely filled that niche, but were also fairly exclusive in terms of technical ability to run and access (most of them were built off of custom mod packages, and required at least a little technical know-how from players as well as admins). I can't say I'm surprised to see Epic approaching the social side of the game more directly.
posted by codacorolla at 3:37 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Epic added a Creative Mode, player designed/built "islands" that you can share with others, a while back. You can login to your own Island and just build whatever you want/explore the game mechanics. When you startup Creative you can choose to go to your own island, one of several highlighted shared islands, or input the Code for a specific Island.

I didn't know about this, but that's really cool. Epic seems to be doing a good job keeping new stuff coming into the game and responding to the things that people like about it.
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:16 PM on February 4


I really am surprised this sort of thing isn't a reality yet. Between Second Life and VR Chat, a modern social reality game could definitely be a Big Deal.

You can and cannot do this in MMORPGs out there. A game like Final Fantasy XIV has home world hubs and cities where you're safe from being attacked and you can just basically wander around and socialize and chill at your leisure but if you want to adventure outside of these safe areas, you have to prepare yourself for the possibility of being attacked or getting into a fight with a monster or demon of some kind.

I wish these game companies would just add a purely safe/tourist/traveler mode. I know that the latest Assasin's Creed games have built that in, an educator's mode where you can just wander and read about things and just exist in that universe without being griefed.

I want more of these options. I want to be able to play on my terms, but I guess that's asking a lot.
posted by Fizz at 6:50 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


The over-the-top proclamations about The Gigantic Importance Of This First Ever Event Of Its Time made by Marshmello have led to massive trashing of the event and what it is or was or whether it was the first of anything on twitter and I've found that amusing to read even while entirely not caring about any of this.

I remember when back in 1997 Chet Helms put together an anniversary concert for the Summer Of Love in San Francisco, and, yes back in 1997, they did their ever-lovin' best to stream the entire thing online for free for anyone who could find the stream and get it to work.

That was basically unheard of at that time. And to a certain extent, they pulled it off to the best of the technological limitations of the time.
posted by hippybear at 7:54 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


FSOL streamed via ISDN back in the stone ages of 1994.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of the story where Lily Allen was offered a quite large sum of bitcoin to do a virtual performance in Second Life in 2009 or 2010 but refused (I think there were some doubts if she confused the game's currency with btc over time or not).

Game companies have been trying to do online social thingies (at least more than your standard glorified chatroom) for a while now. I think Sierra at the peak of their popularity in the mid late 80s kinda tried to do a persistent world using their AGI or SGI game engines, but the technology was lagging behind the concept. These days, not so much.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:11 PM on February 4


This just leaves me only more confused by Fortnite. I decided to check it out based on a few posts here (and because it's free) based on its "social and inclusive" nature, that it was a shooting game with elements of violence removed, and it's not really about shooting each other anyways.

It may indeed be really inclusive in who plays it, but fundamentally, it seems like this is still a game where the primary goal is to shoot other people in the head with realistic weapons -- just one with cartoonish characters that get "sucked out" of the world instead of dying, the occasional disco ball, and dance moves that seem to be used like any other taunt would be in a FPS.

Granted, I went into it solo as I don't know anyone else who plays it personally (although some of their kids do), but the experience was kind of frustrating to say the least - Drop off of the bus, land, and try to figure things out for 5 seconds before I "die." OK, so maybe I should try to get further away from where other people are... so I try that, and I have about 30 seconds of looking around before I "die." This process repeated over and over while I tried to learn a bit. And I learned something - mostly, how to get as far away as possible from everyone else and let them hash it while I seek out things. But largely, it was an experience of sneaking around, listening for gunfire, staying behind cover to avoid snipers, and still "dying" very often.

> I wish these game companies would just add a purely safe/tourist/traveler mode. I know that the latest Assasin's Creed games have built that in, an educator's mode where you can just wander and read about things and just exist in that universe without being griefed.

I'm suddenly interest in the new assassins creed. That sounds incredible. I've been talking about this a lot with my wife lately... I've been seeking out non-violent games that are more exploratory and relaxing. Her ideal game would be breath of the wild, but with no enemies - She'd be more than happy to do nothing but hunt koroks and explore the world. I have no idea if there's anything that actually meets what she'd be interested in - hilariously, it sounds like that particular version of Assassins Creed might, and neither of us would have EVER thought to look there.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:21 PM on February 5


At least with Origins (the Egypt one), the "Discovery Mode" was sold as a standalone game for something like $20, as opposed to the usual $60 for the murder-death-kill version. Steam link, currently it's on a deep discount at ~$7. It doesn't look like they offer the standalone version for Odyssey (the Greece one), though.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:39 PM on February 5


She might like Walden, a game where you are Henry David Thoreau during his time on Walden Pond. It's FPS, has some minor survival elements, and essentially non-violent (I guess it depends on how you count fishing). You wander around the woods, steal pies, and contemplate things. It's heavily researched in terms of his life and writing, and largely about exploring (both locations and concepts). I haven't played it, but it's got really good reviews.
posted by codacorolla at 8:24 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: Wild arm pumps and pointing gestures back at the crowd letting them know they're the real stars?

classic Chick Tract warning against DJ hype.


Faint of Butt: weird, let me tell you about the time in 1983 when 106 million people sat at home and stared at screens to see a bunch of actors on a fake set that looked like a Korean War medical facility.

GF&A. I've long thought there was something special about having a handful of "channels" that unified our national psyche. When there were only 3 national networks, when something BIG happened on one, it was something that *everyone* knew about the next day.
posted by mikelieman at 1:25 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


At least with Origins (the Egypt one), the "Discovery Mode" - tobascodagama

I don't think I have enough processor power for that as I am running a Q9550 from 2008, I have the rest of the specs.

Can't really justify upgrading to be able to wander around in Egypt, sadly!
posted by asok at 4:09 AM on February 6


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