Where can you find Baby Yoda & the Mandalorian, Wolverine, Kratos (the God of War from Sony's franchise), Iron Man, rapper Travis Scott, star streamers like Ninja, and the NFL?
You can find them not just associated with the game, but actually inside the game itself.
With the release of Fortnite's latest content drop, new additions like Kratos and the Mandalorian are available to players for use in-game.
To get them, players have to pay for virtual currency called “v-bucks” with real-world cash that they can then use to buy all sorts of cosmetics of their choice, including things like NFL logos, Kratos, and more.
We have already seen the "Fortnite" virtual concert series with Travis Scott, Marshmello, and most recently J. Balvin, and the "Fortnite" movie series with Christopher Nolan (Inception, Batman, and The Prestige).
You have probably seen the metaverse written about before, and this certainly isn't my first time writing about it, but every month or so, there is more proof of the metaverse. The metaverse, a term coined by Neil Stephenson in his sci-fi book Snow Crash is defined as a collective virtual space that is the sum of many different worlds like the internet, movies, and many other realities.
In "Fortnite," you can watch movies, run around as other characters from your favorite TV shows, dance like modern hip-hop dancers, and jam out to concerts with some of the world's hottest artists.
The proliferation of the game, since it is free-to-play, enables hundreds of thousands of players to connect from phones, PCs, or consoles, making it an easy place to meet and socialize, like a reality away from reality.
Recently, "Fortnite" and video-chatting app Houseparty partnered to enable video chat within "Fortnite" while playing. What better way to connect with your friends while social distancing?
While Fortnite is arguably the furthest along in this process, and has openly acknowledged that "Fortnite" is more than just a game, properties like Twitch (now part of the AWS ad suite), fashion companies like Balenciaga, Dior, and Louis Vuitton and other games like Roblox are innovating ways to combine gaming with the “real world” too.
In many ways, the impact of COVID-19 on our ability to meet in person pushed this process along even further by making it essential to have ways to connect online.
For example, Twitch has recently been the host of a number of designer fashion shows like Burberry and now Dior. But some designers are going even further, with Balenciaga releasing a VR game to showcase its FW 2021 collection.
By granting everyone access to the “show,” Balenciaga is (for now) eliminating the normal elitism of its high-fashion gatherings, and allowing people to experience the brand through a game.
Louis Vuitton has already been partnered with "League of Legends," releasing LV-inspired cosmetics for the game, as well as assembling the real-world trophy case and a connected clothing line.
"Roblox," a game that allows players to develop their own games within the game (yes, very Inception) took a page from the "Fortnite" book, and held a concert with Lil Nas X that was attended 33 million times (although it's unclear how many were unique visitors).
If this is the first time you are reading about the metaverse, or if you haven't yet taken the time to familiarize yourself with the concept, there is no time like the present.
Although it is not necessarily all indicative of the metaverse by definition, more and more surprising entities like the ones above are gravitating towards gaming-related strategies for advertising and marketing.
As these industries continue to evolve, I can say with complete certainty that video gaming will continue to conglomerate outside influences that will make video games -- whether on console or mobile -- the perfect place to get the best of both virtual and real worlds.