MTV Continues Direct Deals With Game Publishers

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Music & Video Games

Guitar MTV continues to get into the game. The music network, which previously signed a deal with Midway Games, has inked a deal with Red Octane to partner on their hit guitar music simulator, "Guitar Hero." The strategic partnership allows MTV Games to feature the Guitar Hero franchise in original programming, creative promotions and competitions across a range of its properties, including MTV, mtv.com, MTV Overdrive, MTV2, mtvU, mtvU Über, and MTV 44 ½.

Unlike traditional videogames, which integrate original songs by top artists as background music for sports and action gaming experiences, "Guitar Hero" puts players into the role of an emerging rock star. The unique guitar controller, which plugs into the PlayStation 2, allows players to strum virtually to the real beats of 30 licensed rock songs from the likes of KISS, David Bowie, White Zombie, Sum 41, Audioslave, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ozzy Osbourne. After winning "Best of Show" at E3 2005, the $70 game and guitar bundle has become a hot seller.

The partnership with MTV will allow for further integration between the musicians behind the tracks of this first game, as well as sequels that will introduce new songs to the playlist.

“Guitar Hero is the next best thing to actually being a rock star,” said Joseph Varet, Senior Director of MTV Games.  ”It’s a unique game that truly delivers on our audiences’ passion for music, perfectly representing the kind of experience that MTV Games was established to create.”

MTV has taken a more active role in the videogame space this year, targeting the growing number of young gamers that are spending more time playing games than watching TV. The deal with Midway offered an array of promotions for the street racing game, "LA Rush," including integration of the game into programming and a contest that gave away a real street racer.

It's fitting that MTV has opened the door to videogame companies, because videogames have replaced MTV as the place to debut new bands and introduce exclusive songs to a growing male demographic. Many industry insiders believe that the game industry plays a much bigger role in the music industry today than MTV did 20 years ago. So the integration of videogames into programming, as well as programming revolving around gaming culture, is a natural fit for the network. These two deals are likely the first of many more to come.

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