A Fortnite emote is available now in the game, based off Dua Lipa’s hit track ‘Don’t Start Now’ and its TikTok choreography.
One of the most prominent gameplay aspects of Fortnite is the usage of emotes that allow players to express themselves in a variety of ways. Encompassing stunts, poses, and emotive expressions, the dances are usually the emotes that receive the most attention from players in their choice of self-expression. Dances such as “Orange Justice” and “Floss” — for which the creator of the latter has sued Epic Games — have become iconic within modern pop culture. Many new dances added to the game are based off those found on TikTok, with the latest emote to be added to the game following this trend.
Epic Games have added the “Don’t Start Now” emote to the Fortnite Item Shop. The emote is based off English pop star Dua Lipa and her hit single of the same name, with the choreography from Australian dancer and TikToker Hannah “thexhan” Balanay. It is available now in the Item Shop for 500 V-Bucks. The in-game description for the emote directly quotes the song with “I’m better on the other side.”
Thexhan originally posted the dance to TikTok back in January 2020 where it proceeded to become viral, with numerous other users posting videos copying the dance and teaching others how to do it. At the time of publication, the original upload has 6.5 million likes, 363.7 thousand shares, and 34.3 thousand comments.
Besides thexhan’s “Don’t Start Now” dance, other TikTok dances based on hit songs are available in Fortnite, including those for “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion, “Say So” by Doja Cat, “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, and “Toosie Slide” by Drake. Other dances that do not have TikTok origins are also available in the game, such as those for “Dynamite” by BTS, “BOP” by DaBaby, and even “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.
While emotes – and particularly dances – have become such a ubiquitous part of Fortnite, the inclusion of several of these dances has resulted in legal trouble for Epic Games. Though thexhan and Dua Lipa appear to have given the Cary, North Carolina-based company full permission for the inclusion of their content, Epic Games has faced lawsuits from former Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Alfonso Ribeiro over the famous Carlton dance and from rapper BlocBoy JB over the “Shoot” dance.
The former case is officially over, having been dropped by Ribeiro back in March 2019. While the latter case is still ongoing, the precedent set by the Ribeiro lawsuit should protect Epic Games from any future legal action from others. The Unreal Engine developer appears to have secured the permission of several artists and content creators to include music and dances in Fortnite. Emotes will continue to be an important facet of the game’s ecosystem.
Fortnite is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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