Monday, August 18, 2008
There is a ton of money in the video game industry. I am not just talking out of my ass on this one. You can look it up. Billions of dollars.
A while back, I predicted to myself that video game soundtracks were going to be the last lucrative outlet for record companies and bands as far as recorded materials are concerned. Dubbing and bootlegging video games is still much harder than uploading or downloading an MP3.
Not only did some video game manufacturers recognize this fact, but they figured out how to exploit it, to own it, to dive into it like Scrooge McDuck, by creating video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
These video games have become immensely popular. People love to pretend like they are rock stars, to sing and play along with famous songs, and now, new songs from up and coming bands.
Lets take it to eleven.
Here is the idea - Rock Band Manager, an online virtual world/community very similar to the real music industry.
Bands would promote their live shows to be performed via webcam.
Bands would create flyers for their band. Paste them up in a 3-D virtual city, promote themselves on message boards etc. Moreover, there would be venues with tie ins to famous real venues such as the Roxy and a resurrected virtual CBGB.
Here is the important part. There would be real money involved.
The bands would have to pay for flyers, and any other virtual promotional tool inside the system. And, fans would have to pay a cover charge to see these shows, but no ticket price could be over a dollar, and the flyers etc. cost would be in the one tenth of a cent range.
Why is this good for Harmonix / MTV / EA? Well, they would take a cut from all ticket sales. They would make money from selling this plug in or new version of the game. They would make money selling not only flyers etc. to the bands, but advertising space in the virtual world to everyone from Allstate to Zildjian.
If you work for Harmonix, MTV, or EA games, you should try to bring this up in a meeting, or you should gather a group of your fellow programmers, quit your jobs, form a new video game company, develop this idea, sell it back to MTV and EA, and retire to a tropical island.
Everyone wants to be a rock star, but it is way more fun to be a rock star with the whole world watching.
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