Fresh off a virtual performance on the Fortnite island this summer, singing superstar Ariana Grande is back in a spacesuit to help players fight off alien cubes and other monsters.
A new Spacefarer Ariana Grande "skin" (or outfit) showing the singer suited up for space battle is available now in the Fortnite item shop. She's billed as "the galaxy's greatest monster hunter" and you can buy the spacefarer "bundle" for 2,500 V-bucks (1,000 V-bucks is roughly $9.99 USD).
The limited availability bundle includes the outfit, a all-eyeball alien back bling called I.R.I.S., a "spacefarer lightscythe" harvesting tool, a multi-colored glider that responds to emotes and an extra style for completing the game's Ariana Grande event quests. You can also buy some of these items separately.
She’ll teach you love, patience, and how to take down some Cube Monsters.Spacefarer @arianagrande and Spooky Smallz have arrived. pic.twitter.com/SC5Zrq11ZXOctober 22, 2021
"She'll teach you love, patience, and how to take down some Cube Monsters," Fortnite, a battle royale game, said in a tweet late Thursday (opens in new tab) (Oct. 21) EDT, tagging Ariane Grande's Twitter feed. Grande hasn't yet responded on her own channel.
Grande's new appearance comes as a part of Fortnite's big Halloween event, Fortnitemares, which runs until Nov. 2. This year's theme is "The Wrath of the Cube Queen," and stems from events that began in last season's alien-themed plot, when a huge mothership crashed on the island in September and scattered menacing cubes everywhere. (Long-time Fortnite fans may recall a cube called "Kevin" in a previous season.)
Grande is officially a part of the Fortnite universe, coming not only with a skin, but also with her own questline. If you finish the "Monster Hunter" set of tasks she gives players (head to the UFO-themed "Believer Beach" to find her), you'll be rewarded with another harvesting tool called the All-Weather Extractor Pickaxe (Dark Style), according to game maker Epic Games.
"Since Fortnitemares began (and even before), the Cubes have been mobilizing," Epic Games said in a description of the battle (opens in new tab). "Their migration towards the Island's center wasn’t just to spread corruption — they’re now at the center forming The Convergence. What is the purpose of this mysterious structure?"
This season has had quite a few space references already, even aside from the spacefaring Grande and some "Dune" skins dropping this week (the latter to celebrate the first major movie of the franchise since 1984.)
The Chapter 2, Season 8 Battle Pass (available for about $7.99 USD) includes a wealth of space-related content, starring space chimp J.B. Chimpanski in what appears to include references to the early space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The last season this summer was full of alien-related references and skins, and players were able to take part in activities such as scooping up valuable gear in a mothership, or picking up smaller flying saucers to attack and abduct other players.
Previous to that, Fortnite has used a lot of space content to attract players. Some of the past seasons have included things like a questline involving ancient astronauts, a black hole that once swallowed the entire map during a season finale, and a space bus battle that evoked a famous Death Star shootout during "Star Wars: A New Hope". And yes, Fortnite has had a wealth of "Star Wars" content and skins over the years, including the obligatory Baby Yoda.
Grande's August performance in Fortnite was called "Rift Tour", with the seven-minute animated set including selections from "raindrops", "7 Rings", "Be Alright", "R.E.M.", "The Way", and "positions." The performance included sky aerials, balloons, rainbows and the chance to climb around a beautiful structure that had Greco-Roman themes to it. (We have the official YouTube video from Grande (opens in new tab) embedded above, if you want to watch it.)
Fortnite has been ramping up virtual performances and other events since the novel coronavirus pandemic erupted worldwide in March 2020, stopping singers from holding traditional concerts (or forcing them to postpone) due to worldwide restrictions. Epic Games has also hit the news periodically for ongoing disputes with Apple and Google regarding how third-party payments should be processed in the tech giants' gift shops.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.