One of the most poignant moments during the epic (pun intended) Ariana Grande Fortnite concert was when she performed “The Way”, her hit single featuring the late rapper Mac Miller. With the song playing as her avatar climbed a series of staircases, some viewers even commented that it looked like Ariana was making her way to heaven while paying tribute to her former boyfriend and the beautiful song they created.
“Working with Epic and the Fortnite team to bring my music to life inside the game has been so fun and such an honor. I can’t wait to join my fans and see all of your reactions to such an unforgettable, magical journey to new realities,” she said in a press statement prior to the in-game event.
The magic of Ariana Grande
Fortnite has hosted virtual concerts before for other music artists, including the first one with Marshmello in 2019, but Ariana Grande is huge — and we’re not just talking about her giant avatar. A two-time Grammy winner, Ariana has sold more than 85 million certified units in the US, with all her studio albums being certified platinum or more by the Recording Industry Association of America. She is also the most-streamed female artist on Spotify, as well as the most-followed female artist on that platform.
But it wasn’t just Fortnite which benefited from Ariana’s star power with this Rift Tour musical journey, as the virtual concert also boosted her song streams, according to Billboard News.
“Ariana Grande’s rainbow-filled, pastel-hued concert in Fortnite last weekend may have lasted under 10 minutes, but its impact lingered long after the show, helping fuel a spike in streams for the songs included in her set. Grande’s song like ‘R.E.M.,’ ‘Be Alright,’ ‘The Way’ featuring Mac Miller, and ‘7 Rings’ all saw big gains in streams.”Aria
In-game events like this Rift Tour not only prove how Fortnite is a powerful platform for entertainment, but also how the metaverse — a term coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in 1992 which is now becoming a buzzword — is revolutionizing music, among other industries. It is used to describe the next stage of the internet as a shared 3D virtual space that links together different virtual worlds and our physical reality.
A new musical experience
As we have mentioned before, gamers have been living in the virtual world for a very long time now. It’s the rest of the world that is catching up. Now we see more and more people realizing how the metaverse can transform the real world, even allowing ordinary citizens of all ages to play to earn and make cryptocurrency even more mainstream.
Gaming opens literally a new world of possibility for entertainment, not only since technology can create incredible new experiences, but also because we can share these with millions of other players. Games such as Fortnite, after all, are more than just the actual game, but also are thriving online communities.
Just check out the reaction of professional battle royale player and streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who shared a video of the amazing time he had at Ariana’s Fortnite concert.
“Fortnite is a place for the imagination and the impossible. With the Rift Tour, we’re bringing a musical journey to life that players can experience, feel, and join alongside their friends. “We’re so grateful to have an iconic superstar like Ariana Grande and her team join us for a musical experience at metaverse scale, and for players and fans alike to experience the Rift Tour!” said Epic Games Head of Brand Phil Rampulla.
With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the world forever, expect more music artists to hold virtual concerts — whether inside games or on other digital platforms — and make their own journey to the metaverse.
Thank you, Ariana. Who’s next?