Halloween’s on 31 October? It starts a lot earlier than that in Fortnite. The game’s ‘Fortnitemares‘ celebration kicked off yesterday (21 October) with a haunted island, pumpkin rocket launchers, rideable witch brooms, a spooky ‘Party Trooper’ outfit and other virtual items. But the climax of the event WILL be on 31 October, and it’s a music concert.
J Balvin will be headlining the ‘Afterlife Party’ concert at 9pm ET that day, with two rebroadcasts for different timezones the following day. The event will also see the debut of Balvin’s new single ‘La Luz’. Within the game, the concert will take place in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, but Epic Games is pushing out some new creative boats for the event.
“J Balvin and Epic Games will be bringing this performance to life using innovative XR (cross reality) technology using LED walls and camera tracking,” announced the publisher. “Balvin will perform in a completely virtual world created exclusively for this event.” We’re told that Katy Perry’s recent performance on American Idol is one reference point for the kind of experience in store.
Other points of interest: anyone who’s bought the Party Trooper skin and attends the concert will unlock a J Balvin variant of the outfit, and he performance and its rebroadcasts will also be watchable within video-chat app Houseparty, which Epic Games acquired in June 2019.
As with previous music events, Epic Games has also been negotiating the licensing challenges of YouTubers who want to stream live and/or create videos from the concert, including its copyrighted music. The workaround will only be for people in Epic’s ‘Support-A-Creator‘ program – its scheme for gaming influencers, who can make money via commissions when their fans buy Fortnite’s V-Bucks currency.
“Creators in our Support-A-Creator program can stream and share on YouTube from October 31 – November 6 without copyright claims or demonetization on Afterlife Party content,” the company explained. “After this seven-day window has passed, your video will be demonetized, but no strikes or takedowns should be issued. If you receive a Copyright Claim before the seven-day window has passed, please appeal the claim directly with the rights holders.”
The key point here: this is YouTube only, in comparison to Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’ Fortnite concert earlier this year, where creators were told “you should be able to stream, make videos, and share across all platforms” [our emphasis added] during the window period. The change is interesting, given the ongoing debate around takedowns and music licensing on Twitch – a platform where plenty of creators would want to stream the J Balvin concert.