Ariane Grande, Billie Eilish, Travis Scott... Metallica?

Metallica in Fortnite
(Image credit: Epic games)

Metallica have become the latest big-name act to enter the parallel world of Fortnite.

The game’s developer Epic Games has announced that they will play a series of virtual gigs in the Fortnite Festival mode on June 22nd and 23rd next week. Fans will have a chance to glimpse them, or to be more accurate their digital avatar versions, at 2pm, 5pm and 11pm on the Saturday and at 10am, 2pm and 5pm on the Sunday.

Don’t expect a normal-length set though. They’re only due to play six songs in the ‘concert’, which is entitled ‘Metallica: Fuel. Fire. Fury’.

Fortnite Festival - Battle Stage Trailer (feat. Metallica) - YouTube Fortnite Festival - Battle Stage Trailer (feat. Metallica) - YouTube
Watch On

In addition to this, players will be able to participate in Metallica-themed quests within the game and help themselves to Metallica collectables, including outfits. Fortnite Festival are also introducing a new Battle mode, where anything up to 16 players can ‘face off’ against each other via a song chosen at random.

Fortnite Festival was launched in 2023 as the game’s foray into the world of music. It’s more similar to games such as Rock Band in that in its ‘Main Stage’ mode gamers play popular rock songs, hitting notes to the rhythm in the main stage on either lead, guitar/bass, drums or vocals. In its ‘Jam Stage’ players can cooperate to create remixes, using any song in the Festival mode.

So yes, it’s not just running around killing people. Although there is some of that too.

Indeed, in the other slices of the game there will be a Metallica presence. In the Battle Royale mode, by using a Ride The Lightning guitar you can create a lightning arc in the sky that your squadmates can ride. There’s also Metallica Loot Island where, in the middle of every match, a floating island emerges from a hole in the sky. On the island is a stage inspired by the band’s current M72 World Tour.

Metallica lights it up inside Fortnite I Gameplay Trailer - YouTube Metallica lights it up inside Fortnite I Gameplay Trailer - YouTube
Watch On

Previous featured artists in the game include Billie Eilish, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga. Even before that Fortnite pioneered the concept of artists performing virtually within the game – rapper Marshmello becoming the first to do so in 2019.

Fortnite is, of course, one of the most successful video games of all time. Launched in 2017, its initial version enabled teams of players to co-operate in a battle against common enemies and quickly gained a reputation – especially amongst parents of teenagers - for being highly addictive. Since then it has diversified into many different modes, of which Festival is just one.

Will Simpson
News and features writer

Will Simpson is a freelance music expert whose work has appeared in Classic Rock, Classic Pop, Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine. He is the author of 'Freedom Through Football: Inside Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club' and his second book 'An American Cricket Odyssey' is due out in 2025