Thatgamecompany has announced that the latest virtual concert by singer Aurora in its hit game Sky: The Children of the Light drew 10,061 simultaneous users in the same server, setting a new Guinness World Record for “Most users in a concert-themed virtual world.”
Additionally, the event saw 1.25 million users across all servers joining in the event, setting another record for “The most players emoting together at the same time in a video game.”
Aurora’s partnership with Sky: Children of the Light began in December 2022, which drew more than 1.6 million viewers over the month that the concert was replayed. However, no individual instance of the concert drew more than 4,000 users, all moving individually. Speaking to Venturebeat, Thatgamecompany CEO Jenova Chen stated that this was higher than online games can usually host simultaneously, and that it took significant work to increase the server capacity.
“You can only send so much through a cable from the server to the player,” said Chen. “It’s more about how you compress 10,000 people’s movements and send them smoothly without any loss. The way we do it is almost like a JPEG file. We compress nearby people to have more fidelity. If they’re farther, they have less fidelity. It’s really about compression numbers.”
Aurora’s work within Sky: Children of the Light is nothing new to the games space. The first major band to hold an in-game concert were Duran Duran in 2006, and since then the likes of BTS, Ariana Grande, and BLACKPINK have all taken to virtual spaces to host their concerts. However, this arguably marks a turning point for virtual concerts as a whole.
Thatgamecompany has successfully capitalised on the success of Sky: Children of the Light by finding an audience outside of its mobile origins, expanding the game to Nintendo Switch in 2021 and PS4 in December 2022. Later this year will see the game launch on PC, widening its player base once again - and potentially allowing for future virtual concerts to exceed the significant record they’ve already set.