Roblox gave its fans a big treat last weekend, turning its online game creation platform into a virtual stage for an in-game concert starring Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil Nas X.
A total of four global concert performances were staged, with the first one kicking off on November 15, 5:00 a.m. GMT+8. Only three shows were announced, with the fourth encore performance played as a reward for the fans for the impressive turnout.
Prior to the concerts, Roblox streamed a preshow special a day earlier, which revealed some behind-the-scenes tidbits from the creation of the event, as well as a Q&A with the Roblox team and Lil Nas X himself. On top of that, Roblox also hyped up its players with an in-game scavenger hunt that rewarded players with a custom Lil Nas X emote.
In the concert, Lil Nas X dropped his latest single, “Holiday,” through a digital render based on a motion-captured performance. He also performed three other songs, and for each one, the virtual environments around his Roblox avatar changed to match the tone.
Of course, Roblox gave its players some exciting new merch to commemorate the milestone event with.
The virtual concert was a resounding hit among Roblox and Lil Nas X fans. With the event amassing a total viewership of approximately 33 million across its multiple show schedules, it’s comparable to the success that Fortnite had when the battle royale game staged a virtual Travis Scott concert back in April.
In comparison, Fortnite’s event recorded 45.8 million viewers across five shows, 27.7 million of which were unique views.
Even before the Lil Nas X Concert Experience officially became an indisputable success, Roblox had already set its sights on incorporating the music industry in its virtual experiences. Just last month, the game hosted a “virtual fan meet” for pop star Ava Max to launch her latest album, Heaven & Hell.
“This unique celebration represents our next step in digital music experiences and opens the door for all kinds of incredible experiences,” said Roblox.
While the success of these virtual concerts can partly be attributed to restrictions on public gatherings due to the coronavirus outbreak, it also says a lot about how online games can now double as legitimate social spaces. It’s going to be fun to see what else this trend brings next.