Travis Scott sets massive record with ‘giant’ Fortnite concert

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2020-04-25 11:01

12.3 million people watched virtual game concert

Imagine the biggest concert you’ve ever been to.

Now double it. Triple it. Quadruple it— or just forget about math because the numbers are just too big.

On Thursday, more than 12.3 million people tuned in for a record-breaking virtual video game concert in Fortnite featuring Grammy-nominated rapper, Travis Scott.

That’s bigger than the populations of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary coming together all at once.

Game developers and rapper team up for ‘Astronomical’

Epic Games, the company behind the wildly popular game Fortnite, partnered with Scott to promote and release his new track, Astronomical.

The word astronomical means extremely large, and Scott’s performance was just that — giant.

Inside the game world, players were able to watch the concert take place.

Travis Scott performs in the game Fortnite on Thursday. The first of five performances featured a larger-than-life Scott taking over a map in Fortnite. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A video game version of the rapper lip synced to his new track, taking the players along for a ride.

The whole thing was over after 10 minutes.

But this wasn’t the first time that the Fortnite fanbase was exposed to a performance like this.

DJ Marshmello performed in Fortnite in 2019, but it was nothing compared to the scale of this event.

With coronavirus keeping us inside and everything in the real world cancelled, will these new virtual video game concerts become the norm?

‘It’s a cool idea, especially now in the situation that the world is in’

Phoenix Bruneau, 16, is training to be a professional gamer at the Montreal Esports Academy.

While he used to play Fortnite, he now focuses his skills on a different game, League of Legends.

But, when he saw that the Astronomical event was “blowing up” on social media, he decided to step back into the game.

Travis Scott’s playable character design was released ahead of the virtual concert. (FortniteGame/Facebook)

Bruneau said the event was “pretty interesting and colourful,” and that “it’s a cool idea, especially now in the situation the world is in.”

But he isn’t completely sold on the concept.

He said the event is “probably a strategy to repopularlize their game.”

Other fans on social media said the event might also boost Fortnite’s numbers after going downhill in recent months.

Fortnite continues to ‘defy any and all expectations,’ says expert

Josh West, an editor for GamesRadar+ and editor of the Official Fortnite Battle Royale Survival Guide, said the Astronomical event is an amazing achievement.

“We haven't even begun to imagine what platforms like Fortnite are capable of achieving yet,” West said.

Describing the concert as something that could have only ever happened in a video game, he went on to paint a picture of a “twisting array of trippy visuals, lights, and movement.”

West said this is only the beginning of concerts like this and a sign of things to come.

“Fortnite's future is rooted in continuing to defy any and all expectations,” said West.

What’s next for young Fortnite fans?

Bruneau might check out another virtual concert, but as for picking up his controller and playing Fortnite again?

The performance by Travis Scott wasn’t enough to bring him back.

“I’ve definitely moved on,” Bruneau said.

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