Ariana Grande’s “Fortnite” Concert: Inside The Rift Tour

Over the past few years, the music industry has opened their eyes to gaming as a new way to connect with fans and generate income. In-game performances provide multiple revenue streams for artists, from upfront payments to virtual goods and a peak streaming for music from the artist who tends to follow an in-game show.

Compared to “Astronomical,” Grande’s performance is less visually chaotic, with fewer scene changes, and focuses more on the player experience. In Grande’s world – which resembles that of the Lisa Frank brand as an entire planet – players not only watch the show, but actively participate in it, a key element that will be part of future experiences, according to Phil Rampulla, brand manager at Epic Games, Fortnitethe parent company of.

“You will see on this one that there is a little more control if you want it,” said Rampulla. Billboard. “You can use the autopilot and relax and just enjoy the ride. Or you can team up with friends and really try to unlock things and compete.

Performances of artists within Fortnite have only grown and improved since the game’s very first gig with Marshmello in February 2019, which drew 10.7 million concurrent players. And with a performance by Lady Gaga set to arrive soon, Epic Games is stepping up the roll-out of those shows. While Scott took over a year to get together, an Epic rep said Grande took six to nine months, with Rampulla describing it as a “very collaborative and iterative process.”

During the roughly 10-minute experience, players bounce off bright pink plant beds as if they were trampolines, fly inside sparkling bubbles in the sky as Grande swings in a swing supported by the clouds and follow Grande down the marble stairs that turn around. the higher you go. Reverse view refers to Grande’s upside down album art for Thanks, Next and Sweetener, which the pop star said symbolized his emotional state at the time, and this is just one of many Easter Eggs The Rift Tour leaves for superfans – including a virtual version of the Pet Pig by Grande, Piggy Smallz. Players will experience different effects during the show depending on their choice of avatar outfit or envelope (which changes the appearance of weapons and vehicles), encouraging them to return for multiple performances.

“It’s hard to really think of anyone better right now,” Rampulla said of Grande. Unlike Travis Scott, Grande is not publicly involved in the video game community, which makes her an unorthodox choice for one of the most popular games in the world. “What we always look for in a partner is someone who is willing to take risks, someone who is willing to try something new,” says Rampulla. “We reached out with some of the big strokes of the ideas and it immediately jumped out and we just took off and the rest is history.” It probably doesn’t hurt that Ariana and Fortnite can also benefit from presenting their fan bases to each other.

At the time of “Astronomical,” an industry source said Billboard that Scott received a multi-million dollar upfront fee, and that artist offerings may also include a back-end bonus once the event hits certain audience metrics. This does not include income from virtual goods that artists can sell. Fortnite players in the form of skins (avatar outfits), gear (for combat), and emotes (which give the ability to play expressions). Sold in Fortnite“V-bucks” virtual currency, Grande’s cosmetic set includes a skin for the equivalent of about $ 20; a diamond hammer for around $ 8; a glider for around $ 12; and a unicorn to ride for around $ 5. Players can also purchase a bundle of all of these items for around $ 28. Those purchases add up, but Epic Games declined to disclose how the compensation was handled for Grande.

In the final minutes of the show, Grande sings “Positions” while floating above the ice before smashing it with her giant hammer, sending the performer and audience back into the clouds. In the aftermath of the explosion, players soar through the air among rainbows, watching fireworks explode in the surrounding air. Musically, the experience plays out like a collection of hits, with tracks like “Positions”, “REM” and Mac Miller’s 2013 collaboration “The Way”.

Fortnite was quick to release audience figures after Travis Scott’s show, but Rampulla would not commit to releasing numbers around Grande’s weekend in Fortnite. With massive superstars jumping at the opportunity to work with Epic Games, and potentially expanding their user base, it doesn’t seem Fortnite will stop working with artists anytime soon.

Micah Singleton Additional Reports

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