Players are accustomed to controlling Neymar on a virtual football field, but the Brazilian star has found a new field: the rushing super fort Fortnite.
Neymar’s recruitment is part of the Epic Games’ strategy, which expands the scope of Fortnite to the battle royale where it is killed or killed by promoting the development of the sports, music, and film industries.
The football player follows in the footsteps of American rapper Travis Scott. Last year, his avatar performed five virtual concerts on Fortnite, which 12 million players watched.
The game has 350 million users (more than the population of the United States), and also hosted the “Short Nite” film festival and “Party Royale” (virtual gatherings with famous DJs).
Nate Nanzer, head of global partnerships at Epic Games, told AFP: “In an era like this, face-to-face gatherings are more challenging. We believe that the experience of having these social connections virtually is very important.”
“We definitely see Fortnite as a platform for social experiences, not just games.”
Since the beginning of this year, users have been able to put the equipment of football teams like Manchester City and Juventus on their avatars, but Neymar is the first athlete to have unlockable “player skins”.
Nanzer said Neymar’s choice made sense because the football fan was a fan of the game-he broadcasted his Fortnite live on Twitch-with nearly 150 million Instagram followers.
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Fortnite is not the only video game that hopes to broaden its format horizons.
Roblox is an online platform that allows users to make their own games that have attracted much attention during the pandemic. Birthday parties, social gatherings and even corporate meetings are held there.
Julien Pillot, a researcher at INSEEC, a leading French business school, said: “This is meta-theory.”
The term “meta universe” coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson refers to a shared online world in which users can interact more freely, hang out, spend money, consume media and even possibly Working.
Charles-Louis Planade, a video game expert at Midcap Partners, said that the holy grail of creating meta-universes is not new to games. He cited the massively multiplayer game “World of Warcraft” that resonated in the 2000s.
Planard said: “What’s new is that these video games have almost become a kind of’hub’, where playing games is one of the activities provided, but not the only one.”
The multiverse dream also extends the ways in which such games can be monetized-although Fortnite and “Roblox” are free, users can spend real money on virtual goods and services in the game.
It also created new ways to advertise to the vast majority of young people-most of Roblox’s 150 million monthly users are under the age of 16.
Brands including Nike and Disney are already using these platforms, and the latter promoted the last “Star Wars” movie on Roblox in 2019.
At the same time, Warner Brothers and Washington, DC produced the “Wonder Woman” game on Roblox to promote the last superhero movie, where American rapper Lil Nas X performed.
Roblox made its debut on Wall Street earlier this month and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange for $46 billion (approximately Rs 3,34,020 crore), more than four times that of video game giant Ubisoft.
Should traditional social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram) be worried?
Researcher Pillot said that game elements still exclude certain audiences.
He said: “For large-scale advertising contracts, you will never beat Facebook (2.8 billion users) that can satisfy everyone, young and old.
But analyst Planade said: “We are moving in this direction.”
“Everyone will play video games tomorrow.”
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