Eleven months after Epic Games acquired Bandcamp, it’s getting its first major integration into Fortnite. Fortnite’s new “Radio Underground” station is a collection of songs curated by Bandcamp editors that you can blast while, well, blasting your way around the popular battle royale. The in-game radio station features tunes from independent artists around the world and covers a variety of genres, from pop-punk and indie to ’80s synthwave and smooth soul.
Fortnite’s Radio Underground station is already live and will be available until the end of Battle Royale Chapter 4 Season 1 on March 8th. As with the other in-game radio channels, you’ll need to jump into a car or truck during a match to start listening to the new station. A spokesperson for Epic Games has also confirmed to The Verge that all of the songs featured are suitable to be streamed on platforms like Twitch.
Epic Games acquired Bandcamp in March of last year, assuring that the music storefront would “keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community,” albeit with the added support of Epic’s resources to invest in new features and expansions. The company has made good on that promise so far, despite concerns over what Epic’s involvement will mean for Bandcamp’s ethos of supporting independent artists. It’s not like Epic hasn’t come under fire for undermining content creators before.
That said, acquiring Bandcamp’s platform gives Epic easy, ethical access to licensed music for its metaverse properties, and provided Bandcamp artists are on board with their tunes being shared by the gaming giant, these benefits are far from one-sided. Not only does this new radio collaboration make sense — pushing independent Bandcamp artist’s tracks to millions of daily Fortnite players — but it also seems to fit with Epic CEO Tim Sweeney’s plans to create a metaverse that will actually be positively received.