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Paws up: Lady Gaga has made me love Fortnite again

Entertainment editor Chloe Southard has been playing Fortnite Festival every day since Lady Gaga was added into the game.
Entertainment editor Chloe Southard has been playing Fortnite Festival every day since Lady Gaga was added into the game.

In October 2019, Lady Gaga asked X (formerly known as Twitter) a simple question: “What’s fortnight?”

Of course, Gaga was asking about popular battle royale game Fortnite despite spelling its name wrong. Besides typical stan account replies and an offer to play with streamer and YouTuber Ninja, it’s unclear whether Mother Monster ever got an answer.

This tweet and the release of Gaga’s sixth album in 2020, “Chromatica,” ignited speculation about a collaboration between Gaga and Epic Games, but nothing came of it.

I’ve been a Gaga fan since I was 9 years old. I started playing Fortnite in 2022; it took a lot of convincing from my brothers, but once I gave it a try and got the hang of the game, I found myself enjoying it more than I anticipated. I noticed that there were several celebrity skins in the game, including Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and more.

This made me wonder if Epic would ever add any of my favorite artists — particularly Gaga. I knew nothing about the “Chromatica” collaboration rumors from 2020 until my brother told me about them.

So, like a true, delusional fan, I held out hope that Gaga would make an appearance in the game.

Season after season, collaboration after collaboration, I waited for Mother Monster’s arrival. Epic added more icon skins like The Kid LAROI and Eminem, and I was convinced that if those artists could make it into the game, so could Gaga.

Then, in December 2023, Fortnite Festival was released. It plays similar to the Rock Band game from the 2000s. But there was something even more exciting about this development: “Bad Romance” by Gaga was added into the game as a jam track.

Even though I wasn’t a fan of Festival at first, I still bought “Bad Romance,” and I continued to rant to my brother about how badly we needed Gaga in the game. He said it most likely wouldn’t happen.

Oh, how mistaken he was. On Feb. 20, Gaga quote retweeted her original post from 2019 with a simple correction: “*fortnite.” Along with this was an image announcing her arrival in Festival.

I lost my mind.

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I immediately texted my brother. I reposted images on my Instagram story. I liked nearly every Tweet I saw in relation to the announcement.

Two days later, Festival season two launched, and Gaga was added into the item shop. Without hesitation, I purchased her entire bundle along with the premium reward track for the Festival pass.

I’m not kidding when I say I’ve played Festival at least once a day since season two launched. I mean, I can literally play as Lady Gaga — that’s enough of an incentive to get me to do just about anything.

After winter break, I stopped playing the game due to a general lack of interest. But the tables have turned. Now, it’s me who pesters my brothers to play Fortnite whenever I have any free time.

Yes, I’m aware I have fallen for Epic and Gaga’s capitalistic scheme. No, I don’t care. I’ve been waiting for this collaboration for years.

Jam tracks from all of Gaga’s albums minus “Joanne” and her collaborative records with Tony Bennett have been added to the game. I had to hold myself back from purchasing all of them, but since she’s the icon for this season, most of her songs are featured and free to play.

All of the jam tracks are hits from Gaga’s discography, but I was pleasantly surprised to see “Bloody Mary,” which went viral on TikTok following the release of “Wednesday,” was added as well.

As annoyed as I was that “Bloody Mary” fell into the conglomerate of “TikTok music,” it’s always been one of my favorite songs from “Born This Way,” and it’s now my go-to track in Festival.

The Chromatica Armor Outfit, available in the item shop, was designed by Cecilio Castrillo, who created several of the outfits worn by Gaga during the “Chromatica” era. It’s a fantastic design that truly captures the record’s essence. I haven’t used any skin besides this one since purchasing it — it’s just that good.

The Enigmatic Gaga Outfit is only able to be acquired through the premium reward track in the Festival pass. This outfit closely resembles one of the bodysuits Gaga wore on the “Chromatica Ball” tour. I love this design, but I wish it had the alien-esque headpiece that accompanied the original look.

Other Gaga-themed items in the Festival pass include “Chromatica” themed instruments, a loading screen, back bling and jam tracks. As of right now, I’m halfway through the pass.

Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, I’ve finished the pass and am now living my dream of traipsing around Fortnite as Enigmatic Gaga.