Virtual Socialization

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    • More video games are hosting virtual events as user socialize.

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Mass multiplayer online video games are quickly moving into the entertainment and socialization spaces. Most prominent is the free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite, which has added a growing number of entertainment options beyond the actual game itself. In April, rapper Travis Scott virtually performed to 12 million fans and last month, the game debuted a space dedicated to socializing. 

Tonight, the DJ Diplo will release his latest album with a performance on Fortnite and on Friday the game will screen three Christopher Nolan feature films – it debuted a trailer for his latest film Tenet recently.

Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has used these efforts to continue to drive players to the nearly three-year-old game. The company reported that it had 350 million registered users in May, an increase of 100 million compared to a year earlier. Epic Games is finishing up a $750 million round of funding, which will value it at $17 billion. 

But it’s not just Fortnite. The game platform Roblox recently hosted a benefit concert that featured Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney, and will also premiere movie clips and actor interviews this summer. 

The events can be developer-driven, but others are hosted by other third parties, like Minecraft’s upcoming four-day Rave Family Block Fest that costs $10 for general entry. While the in-game events were already trending upward, the pandemic has reportedly accelerated the interest in finding new ways to socialize virtually.