Battle royale game Fortnite is cementing its status as the venue for livestream concerts with another event this week. This Friday, EDM stalwarts Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 will host a Party Royale premiere by playing live sets to a virtual crowd of potentially millions.
The three DJs follow in the footsteps of Travis Scott, Marshmello and Diplo, who have all held Fortnite gigs, with Scott’s Astronomical concert breaking the game’s record for largest live audience.
The news comes after Epic Games’ announcement that, as of April, Fortnite now has more than 350 million registered players—up 100 million from March— who clocked up 3.2 billion hours in the last month alone.
“No Weapons or Mats in Party Royale”
In honour of the event, Epic Games revealed that there will be a series of new additions to Fortnite, such as aerial obstacle courses at Skydrive Rift, boat races at Fishsticks’ and new items up for grabs at The Plaza. On top of that, players who log on to the game between 18:00 on Friday and 10:00 on Monday (EDT) will receive a free music-reactive Neon Wings Back Bling for their avatars.
The Party Royale premiere will take place on a brand-new island within the game, which has been described by Epic as a "new experimental and evolving space". Players will be able to access said island when no events are taking place, but those wanting to battle should look elsewhere as Party Royale will be a weapon-free zone.
“There are no weapons or mats in Party Royale” Epic said on Wednesday, “It’s all about just hanging out and having fun. No Sweat. All Chill. Let’s Party!”
The Future of Fortnite
Party Royale’s ban on combat gives us an insight into the direction the game is heading in. Epic is currently trying to promote Fortnite as a multi-purpose space where you can connect with friends online, which is in high-demand due to stay-at-home orders in place around the globe.
Last year, Epic’s founder Tim Sweeney was asked whether he viewed Fortnite more as a game or a platform, to which he responded “Fortnite is a game. But please ask that question again in 12 months.”