Epic Games work with the minds behind Guitar Hero on new Fortnite rhythm game

From Nine Inch Nails to Lady Gaga, Epic Games’ answer to Guitar Hero offers an enticing soundtrack upon release

Software developers Epic Games have launched Fortnite Festival, a rhythm-based gameplay companion to the global phenomenon Fortnite. Located within the hit video game’s application, the free-to-access Fortnite Festival offers an experience comparable to that of the Guitar Hero series. 

Players of the note-matching game are able to try their virtual hand at a range of five sets of instruments: Guitars, Keytars, Drums, Mics, and Basses.

fortnite music game

Collaboratively developed with Harmonix Music Systems, which Epic Games acquired in November 2021, the licensed soundtrack of Fortnite Festival boasts some of the new millennium’s biggest smash hits – including LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and the most-streamed song of all-time “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd. 

Amongst the Billie Eilish and Imagine Dragons of the playlist are also a selection of nineties throwbacks, such as the hip-hop of Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” and the left-of-the-dial “Zombie” from The Cranberries. Epic Games have named The Weeknd as the “featured icon” of the game-within-a-game’s first season – a title reflected in the Canadian pop sensation’s four soundtrack appearances. 

Epic Games’ VP of partnerships Nate Nanzer says that Fortnite Festival has brought forth “a lot of pitches already from [Epic Games’] label partners”, and that he and others behind the game “really want this to become a real opportunity for [the music industry] to reach this audience in a way that they’ve never been able to reach them before.”

Nanzer has revealed the eventual goal of having “hundreds” of tracks in the game’s catalogue for players to choose from. 

The previous music ventures of Epic Games include their controversial but short-lived acquisition of Bandcamp in March 2022, as well as sporadic in-game Fortnite concerts, which can prove considerable successes.

Electronic producer Marshmello’s headline show in February 2019 attracted ten million spectators to Fortnite, a feat later outdone by rapper Travis Scott, whose memorable promotional stunt in April 2020 drew over twelve million concurrent players to the virtual concert.

Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos says on behalf of his company that “for almost thirty years now, we have been trying to invent new ways for people to experience music through gameplay,” a quest of which Fortnite Festival is clearly part. 

Despite the decidedly star-studded track-list of its first iteration, Rigopulos says that the involvement of music from “lesser known artists who are cool and people should hear” in the Fortnite Festival library will come in time. 

Watch the official trailer for Fortnite Festival here.

By Harriosn Jones