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Brief Published: 3 Jul 2020

Fortnite’s Metaverse Becomes a Cultural Hub

As lockdown keeps physical cultural institutions closed to the public, music concerts, film screenings, and now art installations are connecting through online game Fortnite's creative and social tools.

Your Progress Will Be Saved is a digital art experience in Fortnite's Creative Mode. Part of a virtual series from British biennial arts show Manchester International Festival (MIF), the installation invites visitors to explore and interact with virtual avatar artist LaTurbo Avedon's version of MIF's future physical home, The Factory.

While competitors like US developer Activision are elaborating on the battle royale gaming mechanism that made Fortnite famous with titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite's US developer Epic Games is investing in its biggest asset: the time its 350 million global players spend on its servers.

Party Royale, a segment of Fortnite dedicated to socialising with friends, was launched in May. It has no lethal weapons and no player deaths. Visitors are free to do whatever they want – from boat races and food fights, to big-ticket live activations from partner brands.

In April, US rapper Travis Scott performed a virtual concert series in Fortnite that amassed over 12 million viewers. On June 26, Party Royale hosted international movie nights featuring films by US director Christopher Nolan.

Brands must understand the time audiences spend on gaming servers, and start marketing to virtual consumers as much as they do to IRL (in real life) ones.

For more on the emergence of gaming-based spaces for interaction, check out our Pop Culture & Media Mid-Year Review. To catch up on how people are rethinking their relationships with physical locations and live events, see Virtual Exhibitions: Brand Engagement Lessons.

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