trade show | experience | b2c
Project: Lazy Links and Summer Skirmish Grand Finale
Client: Epic Games
Concept: Celebrate the Fortnite community with a pair of immersive out-of-game experiences.
Originally known as Penny Arcade Expo, PAX West brings together over 70,000 people to celebrate gaming culture. The festival vibe created at PAX West aligns perfectly with Epic Games’ goal of creating experiences to celebrate the community of gamers that have contributed to Fortnite’s meteoric rise. With this in mind Epic Games, FG|PG, and iam8bit created a pair of out-of-game experiences that brought Fortnite without the use of a video game controller.
This year’s PAX West played host to the conclusion of Fortnite’s Summer Skirmish Series. With $1.5 million up for grabs and prize money available for gamers placing in the top 100, our tented viewing party was the buzz of the show. In order for Fortnite fans to immerse themselves in the competition, we created a livestreaming viewing party centered around a massive 89x33 LED wall. There was plush beanbag seating for 200-300 people, a Durrr Burger food truck serving free sandwiches, and a popsicle stand giving away all-natural fruit pops. There were also social media photo ops where guests could wield life-size replicas of Fortnite’s famous pickaxes and a BoogieDown dance stage setup for Cosplay photo-ops and dance emote challenges.
One of the most popular map updates to Fortnite Season 5 is an area known as Lazy Links that features a golf course, pool, volleyball court, and other sports club amenities. With so much hype around the Lazy Links release, we decided to take over the first floor of the Yakima Conference center and turn into a 9-hole mini-golf course inspired by the course from the game. There was music, theatrical lighting, and professional cosplay characters interacting with fans to add to the excitement.
The scenic work and engineering that went into creating the entire Lazy Links mini-golf experience was incredibly detailed and imaginative. In creating this experience our team conducted deep research on constructing mini-golf courses and we heard time and again that creating a temporary indoor 9 hole mini-golf course was a truly innovative concept. Our ability to faithfully replicate iconic in-game elements at scale and create a physical experience that captured the imagination of Fortnite’s biggest fans while delivering a one-of-a-kind activation made it the standout experience of the entire conference.
Beyond the actual look, feel, and fun of the activation, it is worth emphasizing the fact that this mini-golf course was constructed inside a conference center. Each hole had to be carefully mapped to fit within the building and accommodate all of the requisite building codes while still creating an experience that flowed naturally in a way that players would expect. The check-in experience and line management system we developed also added to the success of the activation. Thousands of people came through to play the course and yet each squad was able to enjoy their own intimate mini-golf experience.
The pair of experiences created by FG|PG and iam8bit for Epic Games and Fortnite at Pax West was a massive success. They focused on celebrating the community that has made Fortnite such a wild phenomenon in the gaming industry and faithfully replicated one-of-a-kind in-game experiences at scale for all participants to enjoy.
Rather than deliver a number stale video game demos, we created a pair of experiences that asked gamers to put down their controllers and enjoy some real-world time interacting and being social with their friends while experiencing Fortnite in an entirely new and exclusive way. The spaces and traffic flow were expansive and designed to create pockets of intimacy amid a highly trafficked and crowded video game convention. This created a sense of community and provided hours of effortless fun for the entire family. Everything was easy to navigate, free food was abundant, and groups of attendees were able to find quiet spaces to enjoy friends and family while immersing themselves in all things Fortnite.