Travis Scott's virtual concert in Fortnite (opens in new tab) was big, in a variety of ways. Scott himself appeared as a towering behemoth during the event, which attracted a record concurrent player count (opens in new tab) for Fornite of 12.3 million. It was also apparently a very big financial score for Scott, who according to a new Forbes (opens in new tab) report earned roughly $20 million from the event.
That's a pre-tax figure that includes merchandise sales that took place during the three-day Astronomical (opens in new tab) event, but it's still a massive pile of money—more than he pulls in from a normal concert, according to the report—and it's especially striking when you consider that the set lasted for about ten minutes. It took much longer than that to put it all together, of course: Scott and Epic spent months working out the details, although interestingly, Scott never traveled to Epic's North Carolina HQ.
"It was an opportunity to go to the max, to create a world that permits won’t let you do, fire marshals won’t let you do, building codes won’t let you do," Scott said. "To have unlimited fun."
Epic declined to comment on the reported $20 million figure, but the event was unquestionably a success, and built upon Marshmello's (opens in new tab) own massive online concert to demonstrate that virtual shows are the real deal: Fans will engage with them in numbers that live concerts could never come close to supporting, while the blurring of the line between performance and advertising can be extremely lucrative for artists and platforms alike.
"The landscape is changing," Epic Games head of brand Phil Rampulla said. "You’ve got to bring something that’s awesome. Otherwise it’s ‘That’s just an ad.’ And those things are just getting glossed over."
Fortnite's next big (literally) appearance will feature none other than Marvel's planet-eating villain Galactus (opens in new tab), who will cap off the Avengers-themed season four today.