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The Weeknd Set to Headline ‘Fortnite Festival’ Game Mode

Fortnite has announced its first headlining act for its Festival game, and it’s The Weeknd. Fortnite Festival is set to launch exclusively in Fortnite on Dec. 9. The Canadian artist dropped a trailer Tuesday night, featuring different The Weeknd skins performing his 2022 hit, “Take My Breath.”

According to a press release, “Fortnite Festival is a new music game where players can play in a band with friends or perform solo on stage with hit music by their favorite artists.”

Fortnite Festival will be the first entirely music-focused mode to be introduced to the popular game. While Fortnite itself is developed by Epic Games, Festival is being developed by Harmonix, the studio behind the Rock Band video game franchise.

This is not Fortnite’s first venture into the music scene. In April, Coachella announced a new activation with the video game and its parent company Epic Games called Coachella Island, a virtual world launching inside of Fortnite along with mini-games, art installations, festival-themed merch, and virtual recreations of Coachella staples like the concert’s psychedelic Spectra building and the ferris wheel.

“The tagline is, ‘The weekend that never ends,’ and we’re going to be building a program to work with the creators in the Fortnite creative community to add and continue building and expanding what Coachella is inside Fortnite,” Coachella’s innovation lead Sam Schoonover told Rolling Stone. “Games, art, music; we want Coachella to be the place that Fortnite creators want to debut new music and art experiences in collaboration with artists, and just on their own too for their new experiences.”

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Fortnite has also produced high-profile music events before, creating concerts for Travis Scott, Ariana Grande, and J Balvin, among others. 

In 2021 Fortnite launched the concert series Soundwave, featuring five regional superstars. “This is the natural evolution of the platform,” Nate Nanzer, head of global partnerships for Fortnite developer Epic Games, told Rolling Stone. “Our team has continued to show the world what’s possible with interactive entertainment with shows like [Scott’s], but there’s going to be a whole range of experiences from those shows to lighter touch concerts to even just listening to music. We want to create a platform where it isn’t Epic Games creating the shows, it’s the artists and community creators, where everyone from a bedroom DJ to Ariana Grande has the ability to engage with our communities globally. My hope is that there’s something like this happening in Fortnite every day.”

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