New York. With concerts suspended due to the coronavirus, the world of video games try to attract more and more lovers of music with real artists within virtual worlds.
The trend gained momentum in recent weeks, when the ultrapopular video game Fortnite was presented to the rapper Travis Scott in a virtual universe, astronomical.
According to the editor of the game, Epic Games, a total of 27.7 million players participated in the five presentations of the show in 10 minutes.
At the beginning of may, Fortnite, launched a huge party virtual with DJs like deadmau5 and Steve Aoki to celebrate the milestone of 350 million registered players.
“It’s good for the artist and for the editor,” says Dmitri Williams, a professor of the University of Southern California (USC) in Annenberg, which analyzes the impact of video games on society and the economy.
The artist has access to many people who do not agree usually,” he said. Mostly young men, a population coveted “in a world of media increasingly fragmented”.
For Epic Games “is a great success because it is associated with something fun and real”, that “increases the flow” of its platform, says Williams.
In mid-April, another video game, Minecraft, organized in his universe a festival virtual free, Nether Meant. Expected another this Saturday, entitled Block by Blockwest, with the group of rock Against the Current, among others.
For Adam Arrigo, managing director of Wave, a firm specializing in concerts virtual, the idea is not to “recreate something you could do in the real world,” but to “enhance” the contribution of the technology.
“You’re not limited by the laws of physics or gravity, so that it can do everything,” he said. “It is a visual spectacle that evolves into surrealism”.
The Travis Scott of Fortnite was 10 times more than its viewers, and became the avatars of traditional game, which could be mixed with each other.
Several times he changed his silhouette during the show, in the middle of a decoration galactic storms of meteors and games of lights.
“Many artists and record labels, festivals and event organisers look to video games as the new destination to present a show,” explains Charles Hu, who heads the publication Water and Music.
All see this space as complementary and not as a threat to the music industry and the show, already under pressure before the pandemic and in great difficulties today.
“This will be something that will exist in addition to” real life, estimated Adam Arrigo, “other dimensions of the same show.”
At the economic level, the model of these concerts is free, when the entrance to see a great artist in person is worth on average almost $ 100. The same model of concert virtual artists outside the world of video games, which have multiplied with the confinement.
But “many begin to take visual appearance seriously, even though the artist is isolated in her home,” Hu said. A requirement that increases the cost of production, without generating income.
Some artists opted for the model payment, such as Erykah Badu, underlines Hu, but still there are few that do this and have sometimes been criticized.
“It is still early to know how to translate all of this into revenue,” he says.
In the case of gaming platforms, the investment aims at the recruitment and loyalty of players.
Some have already come to Fortnite and its 350 million of players as a social network that could compete with industry giants such as Facebook, with a younger audience.