Fortnite is running a new experiment in their combat-free Party Royale mode where they are airing just…full movies now in its “big screen” section of the map. Depending on your region, you get one of three Chris Nolan movies airing a bunch of different times today, including a morning screening going on now. Some places get Batman Begins or The Prestige. North America gets Inception, and I’m watching it now. Here’s the full schedule of what movies are airing where and when.
This is the culmination of a few different experiments in Fortnite. We have seen them air Quibi shows in Risky Reels on the actual map. We have seen them do live concerts (like a Diplo show last night) in Party Royale or debut new trailers (we had a Tenet trailer on this same big screen as a precursor to these other Nolan releases). And now, full movies.
I…don’t really love this experience.
Maybe that makes me a boomer, but there’s something that feels different about watching a full length feature film like Inception inside Fortnite, that while even though yes, I am all for Fortnite becoming the cornerstone of the digital metaverse, it’s just not really a good or interesting experience.
Fortnite concerts are different. When it’s an interactive Travis Scott music video that takes over the entire map, or a Diplo show on the Party Royale stage, you feel like you’re getting an added benefit by this all taking place in Fortnite. You’re moving around, you’re dancing, and the other skins are there doing the same to give it a party atmosphere. It’s fun, interactive, unique.
Sitting on a stone hillside watching Inception on a digital movie screen with my avatar sitting in front of me is…not really that compelling in any way.
Like, if you want to watch a movie, you can watch a movie on any device that is able to run Fortnite, your PC, your tablet, your smart TV. But what is Fortnite adding to the experience? If you’re alone, you’re constantly distracted by other players running around emoting or shooting suction arrows at your character’s butt, which is not really the vibe if you’re going to try to pay attention to a serious movie. And if you’re in a party with friends, I mean, who wants your friends talking over a movie in party chat? I don’t like that in real life, I don’t want that here.
There’s just nothing that Fortnite brings to the table here, other than maybe a free movie if you don’t have any subscription services or don’t want to pay $5 to rent Inception from Amazon Video. Given that this is Inception, I wondered if there would be any kind of weird “Fortnite experiments” like they make gravity go all wobbily when those trippy sequences happen in the film, but nothing like that has occurred. And again, anything that happens outside the screen is just distracting from the actual movie, and this does not play well in-game like a concert does.
I am all for further experiments in this realm. Hell, with movie theaters closed, we might be watching the actual premiere of Tenet in Fortnite soon enough here. But even as someone who loves what Fortnite is doing with all these multimedia experiences, this one just isn’t that engaging.