Talking tech since 2003

I’m a huge fan of music, I like all kinds of genres and artists ranging from punk rock to hiphop.  And if it’s true that music is a universal language, then what I’m about to share with you, you’re going to love.  Play GIG-IT is a brand new Facebook game that lets you experience music in a new and unique way that I’ve never seen before.  The game allows you create and completely customize virtual 3D concerts with your favorite artists. And when I say completely customize — I mean it.  Everything from location, venue, wardrobe, backup dancers, dance moves, special effects, opening act, to the setlist and camera angles–everything.

onstageIn addition to development of the game, the company has been hard at work signing over 70 big-name artists including 2 Chainz, Flo Rida, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and T-Pain. While it may seem like that is almost exclusively a hiphop group of artists, John Acunto, co-founder and CEO of Play GIG-IT, was very clear when he said, “We are not a hiphop game, but we had to start somewhere.” And while I was willing to take him for his word, the framed posters of rock band greats like Huey Lewis and The News in his office reinforced that statement.

Play GIG-IT, which launches today has been in development for the past three years where it has undergone several revisions to get to its current state.  I dropped by the company’s offices last week to take a look at what three years of hard work amounted to and it is impressive.

The Play GIG-IT Experience

PLAY GIG-IT is the fusion of music, social media, fashion, and gaming in one interactive experience.  As you progress through the game, you unlock more venues, wardrobe accessories, and other features allowing you to customize the concert you are creating even more.  In addition to unlocking more stuff as you progress through the game, like many other games these days, you can also pay to “progress” more quickly and gain access to better clothes, venues, etc.

One of the nice things about Play GIG-IT is the fact that when you are configuring your concert, you can listen to music by the artist who you have selected, while this may seem like not such a big deal, it really adds to the experience.  After all, the game is based on music.  Play GIG-IT also allows you to purchase digital copies of songs by the artists in the game to use in your concerts.  All purchased songs are also made available for you to download directly to your computer, so you can enjoy them wherever you are.

The fact that you will be able to purchase music on Facebook is a huge deal in itself, “We want to be the iTunes of Facebook,” said John Romero (famed game designer and programmer: Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake), President of Play GIG-IT.  Play GIG-IT will be the first company to sell music directly via Facebook.  Facebook has over 1.1 billion active users and definitely seems like a good place to launch a music based game — just look at how the popularity of Spotify increased once it completed its Facebook implementation.  A large part of the success Spotify has seen on Facebook is due to sharing, something Play GIG-IT is looking to leverage heavily in its game.

Play GIG-IT users will be able to post, share, and invite friends and fans to become spectators of their own virtual concert, and the more concert views players generate, the more in-game cash they earn.  And of course, in-game cash can be used to purchase additional items as well as to unlock other features.

Play GIG-IT, Artists, and the Future

With over 70 artists signed on with Play GIG-IT for launch day, the company is moving full steam ahead.  According to Mr. Acunto, the company plans to have over 200 artists signed by the end of the year, including artists in other genres such as country and rock.

dressingAs artists look for new revenue streams, Play GIG-IT certainly seems like a great option. Followers and Likes don’t necessarily translate into sales for artists, but by creating more engagement, that may change.  “Artists hope to use Play GIG-IT to increase engagement and sales,” said Mr. Acunto.

Play GIG-IT’s initial launch is just on Facebook, however, according to Mr. Romero the company hopes to have a mobile app version of the game in the next six months.  In addition to the mobile app, the company is working on the next revision of the game which will include things like a karaoke feature.  Mr. Romero was also excited about the possibilities surrounding the game, including the chance to offer localization, which makes sense as different artists are popular in different places around the world.

I’m really impressed with Play GIG-IT, you can tell a lot of thought and attention to detail went into each and every part of the game, from the way the artists look to their clothes and accessories — it’s just clear lot of work has been put into the game.

So with that said, what are you waiting for?  Go press play!

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