Rapper Travis Scott has grabbed the “Fortnite” crown for drawing the biggest live audience in the hit game’s history on Thursday night.
Over 12.3 million concurrent “Fortnite” players participated live in Scott’s “Astronomical” virtual performance, an all-time record, according to Epic Games. The prodigious turnout, no doubt, was helped by stay-at-home quarantine conditions in many parts of the world, as well as the promise of the premiere of a new track by Scott. The previous all-time high for concurrent viewers in “Fortnite” also was a music act: Over 10.7 million live fans logged in for Marshmello’s virtual performance in February 2019.
To put Scott’s “Fortnite” figure into perspective, Fox’s airing of top-rated TV show “The Masked Singer” this week drew 7.9 million total viewers, although that was only in the U.S. while Scott’s “Fortnite” appearance was available worldwide. At the same time, the concurrent viewership number reported by Epic Games for Scott’s virtual concert does not include additional views on Twitch and YouTube.
Scott’s roughly 15-minute “Fortnite” performance premiered at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 23. The event included a rendition of fan-favorite “Highest in the Room” as well as a preview of “The Scotts,” a new collaboration with Kid Cudi (ahead of the full song dropping at midnight ET).
Epic Games has set four additional “tour dates” for Scott’s “Astronomical,” to accommodate fans worldwide in different time zones. Those are set for: Friday, April 24, 10 a.m. ET; and Saturday, April 25, at midnight ET, 11 a.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET. The “Fortnite” publisher said virtual doors open 30 minutes beforehand.
As part of the Epic Games partnership with Travis Scott, “Fortnite” added the artist to its Icon Series to let players get his outfits, emotes, gear and other accessories. Those who attend the “Astronomical” events also are promised access to the Astroworld Cyclone Glider and two loading screens for free.
“Fortnite” again held the No. 1 spot as the biggest game of the year for 2019 in terms of revenue, raking in an impressive $1.8 billion — even though that was a decline of 25% off a record-setting $2.4 billion take a year earlier, according to research firm SuperData.