To promote the release of their thirteenth studio album, Weezer has collaborated with Epic Games to produce a custom map for Fortnite called Weezer World. The map launched with Season 8 of the game, and can be found as a premade area within the game’s Minecraft-like Creative Mode. The map is the first place you can hear four unreleased songs from the band’s new Black Album, which can be found playing from a jukebox on the island.
The obvious comparison to draw here is with Marshmallow, whose in-game Fortnite concert took over the entirety of Fortnite for 10 minutes last month. However, for Weezer this collaboration is just the latest in a long line of internet experiments the band has attempted over the years.
Way back in 2002, the band allowed fans to download unfinished versions of songs from its fourth studio album Maladroit and give them feedback. Then, in 2008 the debut music video from the band’s Red Album featured scores of early internet celebrities re-enacting their viral videos. Even the band’s 1994 single “Buddy Holly” was partially promoted by having its video included on the Windows 95 install CD.
Yes, Fortnite’s latest collaboration isn’t promoting the release of a massive new film like Avengers: Infinity War, or Wreck it Ralph. But if Weezer’s past internet experiments are anything to go by, not to mention a charming tweet from Rivers Cuomo himself, “Weezer World” isn’t quite the cynical publicity stunt that it first appears to be.
*This is a joke. I’m sorry Weezer fans.