‘Fortnite’ Party Royale Will Become ‘Second Life’
On Its Way To Being The Metaverse
Paul Tassi Senior Contributor
Last night I attended yet another concert in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, the combat-free zone where everyone just hangs out and doesn’t kill each other. It’s a small island and an early experiment, and yet as I witnessed live sets performed by Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and deadmau5, all world-famous DJs, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was yet again witnessing something pretty significant and incredible.
I’ve talked a lot about the Metaverse with Fortnite, the grand virtual world that may end up replacing the internet someday, and in fiction, often appears in immersive VR form, and is full of brands and companies vying for their place among users. And you can definitely feel a significant step in that direction from Fortnite, especially last night as I, controlling X-Men’s Psylocke as my Avatar, danced with John Wick and Harley Quinn and dozens of other player avatars during the hour-long show.
When I posted the clips online, many of my followers remarked that this looked like Second Life, and honestly, while the Metaverse is still ages away in its “true” form, it does feel like Fortnite is gearing up to start with something more akin to Second Life or PlayStation Home instead.
Second Life, though mostly thought of as an ancient internet relic at this point, does still exist today, albeit the peak of its popularity was likely in the mid-to-player 2000s. The concurrent player record was 88,000 in 2009.
Second Life operates as a virtual world where players are not killing each other, but rather building homes, trading goods and services with each other, and attending events (Second Life was doing concerts a decade before Fortnite).
Now, it seems like Fortnite is on that path, but in a more attractive package. These days screenshots of Second Life unintentionally make it look like some sort of porn sim (though plenty of naughty stuff can and does happen in Second Life), while Fortnite’s Pixar-like animation and brand deals with Marvel, DC, Star Wars and more are combining different IPs in one place in a way that no other game has before in a better-looking world.
Fortnite has pretty much all the pieces it needs for its own version of Second Life.
With Party Royale, it has a combat-free hub where you can’t destroy anything and you just hang out playing minigames and attending events.
With Fortnite Creative, you have an infinite hub of user-generated content that could be used to populate expansions to that initial world.
Combine those two together, and what do you have? Really all the building blocks you need for a virtual world in the Unreal engine. How long until Epic starts letting players build their own houses in an expanding Party Royale zone? How long until creators can sell their custom works to other players, creating an in-game economy? My guess for both, not long.
Yes, the battle royale will likely remain the core of Fortnite for a long while to come, but we are treading familiar ground with these kinds of combat-free live events in the game, and between Second Life, The Sims Online, PlayStation Home, there is a market for this kind of thing that is going unfilled. Perhaps the Metaverse is too grand an idea to come to fruition within Fortnite in the next few years. But something more like Second Life? Now that I could see getting here sooner rather than later, especially the more of these Party Royale events I attend.
Thanks Paul Tassi for this interesting article.
My opinion from the second life view is that as much as Fortnite is catching on The people of Second Life are happy with how things are and are most likely never going to want change as they are settled with how things are and fear change within Second Life most of the time. So will this be the NEXT platform for all of us to run to? We will see… I highly doubt it will ever replace Second Life. But maybe run alongside????
Have a great week.. From all of us at Zi and FI