iHeartMedia announces virtual world ‘iHeartLand’ in Fortnite

San Antonio-based mass media corporation iHeartMedia has launched its first-ever virtual world “iHeartLand” in Epic Games’ hit 2017 battle royale title Fortnite. The media giant confirmed the news Wednesday and revealed its plans to roll out 20 major events in relation to the virtual world for the next 12 months.

The series of events in iHeartLand will begin on September 9 with a music performance from Charlie Puth — it will also mark the musician’s debut performance in the metaverse. Puth will perform on State Farm Park, the main stage in the virtual world. Players may also experience four mini-games such as Cranking 90s, Speed of Sound, Color Switch and Leap of Faith.

iHeartLand was developed by Atlas Creative, a well-known developer specializing in Fortnite Island development and is a provider of digital marketing through in-game events in Fortnite. iHeartMedia described the virtual world as “a state-of-the-art, always-on entertainment space where music and gaming collide”.

More about iHeartLand

The launch of iHeartLand marked yet another large-sized virtual event in Fortnite. Atlas Creative had previously worked for international brands in launching their limited-time events in the game, such as NBA’s takeover event and the 2021 Alienware Games, a brainchild of a partnership with Alienware and Misfits Gaming.

iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne said the underlying idea behind iHeartLand was to allow direct in-game interactions between fans, performing artists and their shows “in awesome new ways”.

“Our goal is to meet audiences where they are – delivering innovative, incredible programming to constantly challenge ourselves to take entertainment to the next level,” Byrne said.

“iHeartLand will feature a full calendar of music and podcast performances at State Farm Park that give fans a chance to play and interact with shows and artists in awesome new ways.”

The exec explained that what makes iHeartLand unique is that the virtual space was built by incorporating “interactive performances and intimate backstories”. The idea was to also ensure an immersive gaming experience for players to enjoy and allow both artists and the company to expand its engagement.

“From interactive performances and intimate backstories to immersive game play, native to the platform — this new world allows us to extend the reach of today’s biggest creators, artists and personalities in groundbreaking ways, and is a big next step for iHeartMedia in expanding our engagement with our users,” Byrne added.

Closing in to his performance early this September, Puth had commented on iHeartMedia’s announcement. “I’m so excited to enter the metaverse for the first time in partnership with iHeartRadio and check out all iHeartLand has to offer,” the musician wrote.

“It’s really important to me to connect with my fans in new ways and it’ll be a blast to all come together and have some fun. I couldn’t be happier to share this with iHeart and the fans who have been part of some of the most memorable moments in my career. See you there!”

In a release, iHeartMedia confirmed its virtual world “is an independently created experience”, meaning the company did not partner with or receive any sponsors from Epic Games. Regardless, the Cary-based gaming developer praised the initiative.

“What iHeartMedia and the team at Atlas Creative have created is a compelling look at a future of Fortnite where artists and brands can independently and authentically connect with fans in new and persistent ways at scale,” Epic Games VP of Metaverse Development Matthew Henick said.

“We can’t wait for players to experience all of the incredibly ambitious content that iHeartLand has planned in the coming months.”