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Fortnite, Epic Games’ blockbuster free-to-play battle royale video game, is branching out.
The popular shooter has teamed with YouTube and the Game Awards producer and creator Geoff Keighley, along with fellow producer Kimmie H. Kim, to produce its first original video programming, Game Jam Hollywood.
The new competition show, which is set to premiere Thursday, July 26, at 12:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, will bring together 16 Fortnite creative builders for three days of constructing to build four entirely new Fortnite games using its creative mode. The construction will be monitored by the Fortnite team at Epic with live feedback, and the winning creation will debut onstage at the Fortnite World Cup on July 28.
All the maps created during the show will be released for free to fans following the competition.
Fortnite has already signaled to audiences in recent months that it is more than “just a game.” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney told The Hollywood Reporter in March that he views the title as a “social experience.”
In February, Fortnite hosted an in-game concert from DJ Marshmelo that drew more than 10 million viewers, successfully testing the waters for content outside of just competitive gaming.
Meanwhile, a recent study from the National Research Group found that tweens are flocking to Fortnite as their preferred social platform, eclipsing such apps as Instagram and Facebook.
Fortnite commands a massive audience of over 250 million active players. With the success of the recent Marshmelo content and the recent partnerships with such Hollywood properties as Marvel’s Avengers and John Wick, the game’s pivot to original programming isn’t surprising.
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