Fortnite is bringing indie music into its gaming platform with a new soundtrack option called Radio Underground. The playlist, which is curated by Bandcamp editors, will be available through March 8, when the game’s Battle Royale Chapter 4 Season 1 comes to an end.
Fortnite’s creator, Epic Games, purchased Bandcamp in March 2022, and this new initiative marks the first integration between Epic’s flagship game and the indie music marketplace and service. At the time of the acquisition, Epic pointed to its “vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more” as one of the reasons behind the deal, while Bandcamp founder/CEO Ethan Diamond noted that the partnership would help it expand internationally.
The 11 tracks and artists on the offering do combine some international acts (Panama’s Jungle Rat USA, Pale Blue Eyes from the U.K. and New Zealand group The Beths) as well as U.S. artists like Starflyer 59, Ronnie Martin, Gladie, Pow Wow!, P.E., De Lux, Pool Kids and Ginger Root.
Initially, the acquisition of a dearly-loved indie platform like Bandcamp by a gaming company like Epic was viewed with some skepticism as to what the overarching plan was for any integration between the two, though both sides were clear at the time that Bandcamp would continue to operate as a standalone entity. But this announcement also offers a clue as to how the two can be seamlessly brought together, giving Epic easily-licensable music that it can bring to its Fortnite gaming experience while offering another opportunity for Bandcamp artists to get their music heard and, more importantly to Bandcamp’s mission, get those musicians paid for the use of their music online.