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The Weeknd to headline first of its kind ‘Fortnite Festival’ launch

<i>Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP</i><br/>The Weeknd at the U.S.premiere of
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
The Weeknd at the U.S.premiere of "Avatar: The Way of Water

By Lillian Bautista, CNN

(CNN) — Fortnite, the online battle royale video game, is collaborating with bestselling singer The Weeknd in its debut “Fortnite Festival” on Saturday.

The in-game festival will act as a virtual music festival featuring songs from various artists including Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Kendrick Lamar.

The festival for the hit online multiplayer game comes a little more than a week after rapper Eminem’s virtual concert for the game’s Big Bang event launching the new Chapter 5: Season 1.

Produced by Epic Games and released in 2017, Fornite is a free-to-play, cross-platform online multiplayer game that routinely updates with progressive seasons.

Fortnite’s key features include often collaborative cosmetics like weapon wraps, “skins” – or, character outfits – and “emotes” which allow players to enact actions with music in the game like popular TikTok dances (the “griddy” after a kill is a fan favorite). Each season of the game, typically lasting around 90 days, can offer new maps, game modes or cosmetics.

The game historically invites partnerships with artists, television shows, films and even other video games to promote new releases.

Saturday’s Fortnite Festival will introduce a new music mode on Fortnite, allowing players to play an instrument of their choice synced with a purchasable festival “jam track.” Popular “jam tracks” from The Weeknd – like his hit songs “The Hills” and “Save Your Tears” – will be available to buy in the game’s item shop. Fortnite is also releasing multiple The Weeknd skins, pickaxes and emotes beginning Saturday to honor the headliner for Season 1 of Fortnite Festival.

The Weeknd himself is releasing branded collaboration merchandise like shirts, hats and a Fortnite action figure of the singer.

Players can tune in Saturday for the chance to play guitar or sing vocals as The Weeknd himself.

The Weeknd is coming off of a stellar year. In March, he was identified as the most popular musician on the planet according to Guinness World Records, and is coming off of his record-breaking “After Hours Til Dawn” global stadium tour.

Past Fortnite collaborations have included a Bad Bunny “emote” during Coachella, Disney+’s “Ahsoka” quests and a variety of “Spidey skins” during the “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” theatrical run.

While Fortnite is most popularly known for its third-person shooter mode, Epic Games is expanding its repertoire with LEGO Fortnite and Rocket Racing.

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