An Insider’s Look Into the Fortnite Brand Experience
FG|PG is no stranger to designing and building immersive experiences for brands looking to stand out from the crowd. Since our founding in 2001, our creative team has produced activations and events for some of the world’s most innovative brands from Tito’s Handmade Vodka to Oculus.
While it’s always a challenge to outdo yourself from one event to the next, it’s a privilege that never gets old. We love what we do and we’re incredibly honored that our partners continue to place their trust in our team. So when Epic Games asked us to partner with them to bring Fornite to life in the physical world, we were over the moon! Fortnite not only presented us with a truly unique palette from which to draw inspiration, but most of our team are HUGE fans of the game.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look into the series of immersive experiences that Epic Games and FG|PG created to celebrate Fortnite’s community of gamers, fans, and partners.
Celebrating the Fans
Fortnite’s cultural impact cannot be overstated. The zany battle-royale game has inspired people around the world to flex their dance emotes, turned gamers and streamers into bonafide celebrities earning salaries and endorsements as big as any major athlete, and even garnered an SNL parody. It’s by far the most streamed game on Twitch. Over 5 million hours of the frantic, cartoonish mayhem were streamed in the last 30 days alone. League of Legends, the next most popular title, didn’t even rack up half that amount in the same time period.
With Fortnite’s meteoric rise, Epic Games has adopted the overarching objective of creating experiences that celebrate their fans. To cater to the diverse Fortnite community, we set the intention of bringing the game to life in imaginative and interactive ways that encouraged fans to fully experience the world of Fortnite without having to pick up a controller.
Blurring the Lines Between Real and Virtual
Though NBA arenas are the most common venue for Esports events today, Epic continues to seek out spaces that erase the division between the digital and physical world. With each activation, our goal is to create immersive experiences that capture the hearts of the Fortnite community both in person as well as for those fans livestreaming at home.
For E3, we created an in-game party experience as a way to say thank you to the community behind their viral success. Guests were drawn into the world of Fortnite from afar by a massive 12-foot tall, handcrafted, backlit logo suspended above a 38-foot BATTLE BUS. With a custom-fabricated 18-foot hot air balloon and a100-pound disco ball floating high above the show floor, it was impossible to miss. A custom-fabricated hang glider with 3D mapping software placed fans in the game’s iconic opening sequence, while a prominent stage showcased attendees breaking down their signature BoogieDown dance emotes. There was even a mechanical llama rodeo to give fans the ultimate ride.
Aside from having one of the most fun and quirky games to hit the market, Fortnite continues to delight their community by steadily releasing new environments to explore within their gaming universe. One of the most popular map updates to Fortnite is an area known as Lazy Links. With so much hype around the Lazy Links release, the teams at Epic Games and FG|PG designed a 9-hole mini-golf pop up. Created as a modular traveling experience, Lazy Links was deployed at PAX West, TwitchCon, The Fortnite World Cup, and during Ninja’s NYE Celebration.
In 2017, Epic Games attended TwitchCon with 10 Fortnite gaming stations and two streamer pods. This year, they staged a full-on takeover with Fortnite Hall, a 50,000 SQ FT interactive Esports experience centered around their Fall Skirmish Grand Finals. With $2.6 million in prize money up for grabs, there was no choice but to create an Esports activation that went beyond the expected. Produced during a one month sprint, Fortnite Hall played host to over 20,000 attendees during its three-day run. Fortnite’s Twitch channel averaged more than 120,000 viewers and 65,000 concurrently. The final day of the event reached a live audience of 336,000 with daily online mentions during the event averaging 2.7 million, a nearly 1 million mention increase.
The Biggest Thrills Happen Live
The big question is: if esports is a competitive scene that takes place entirely online, why is every major game publisher intent on hosting live events? The answer is that real-world events raise the stakes, increase the pressure and excitement, and just like with any other professional sport, fans want to see their heroes live and in-person pulling off amazing feats that defy belief. Critics also seem to overlook the strong communities and friendships gamers, fans, and streamers are developing.
Athlete or a fan, who doesn’t want to compete for or bear witness to the last-second shot in an arena filled with screaming fans — that’s a feeling that holds true whether the ball is made of pixels or of pigskin.
To learn more about producing exceptional B2C and B2B events, join AAF OC and FG|PG for a behind the scenes breakfast panel on Friday, August 23rd. We’ll be taking a deep dive into all things Experiential and discussing what it takes to create memorable experiences for your brand or agency clients.