Music game ‘Play Gig-It’ redefines the fan experience

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Jay-Z‘s Magna Carta Holy Grail is the 13th number one album in his enormous catalog. An impressive feat by any artist, however Jay Z’s MCHG’s impact can also be felt outside the realm of music.

Keeping up with his “New Rules” mantra, Hov managed to be creative in securing his platinum record status with Magna Carta Holy Grail.

In an age where artists are seeing individual sales plummet due to online pirating, Jay-Z’s marketing scheme could lead to new ways for music to be distributed to the public while still earning a profit.

Enter Play Gig-It. The brain child of former outer net CEO of John Acunto, Play Gig-It is an online game where music, clothing and social media all intersect.

What is Play Gig-It?

To call Play-Gig it strictly a ‘video-game’ like the online bingo games would be doing a disservice to all of the people involved in its production.

Acunto recruited as he would put it, “a team of legends,” to be involved in this ambitious project.

“It’s a new revenue stream for current and emerging artists,” John Acunto told theGrio. “Who wouldn’t want to prosper and make more money for their craft?

In theory, Play-Gig-It is a one stop shop for both hip-hop consumers and producers. Digital versions of rappers and singers like Kendrick Lamar or Miguel are available for fans to create and share online concerts with their peers. In turn, artists will be seen on a new platform that will bolster and strengthen their fan community in a previously untapped digital space.

Play Gig-It will be available online via Facebook. Producer DJ Khaled, along with legendary game designer John Romero from the Doom franchise, were assembled among other leaders in tech and music to create a product not seen on the market before.

Kevin Liles, former president of Def Jam Recordings, was brought on to the Play Gig-It team as a consultant. The philanthropist has introduced music themed video-games to home consoles for over ten years. According to Liles, Play-Gig It is the direction of where the industry, both gaming and music, is eventually heading.

“I’ve been involved with Def Jam Vendetta, Fight for NY, and Def Jam Rap Star. I’ve been in search of a social game that would take all of those things and fuse them into one big platform.” said Liles about past his experience in the gaming world. “So when I saw Gig-It, I believe it had the potential to be the next step of what we’ve already laid the foundation for.”

New revenue streams

Acunto and Liles emphasize that Play Gig-It is “more than a game” and it shows in its digital Facebook layout. While setting up your concert lineup, you take on the role of road manager. You want Elle Varner to be the opening act for Pusha T? A show with Rick Ross and Birdman? Done. How your final product is received will fall directly on your shoulders and reflective in Play Gig-It’s virtual currency system.

“For managers it will be a source to find talent, find new music, and do activities that will benefit future artists,” said Liles.

The clothes that will be used to dress your digital star can also be purchased for the consumer to wear in real life. The rapper makes sure that his clothing is in the proper hands of avid and dedicated fans. It’s a win for all parties involved.

Acunto agrees. “I think they’re music artists realizing they’re not making any money with Facebook. They’re not accumulating any money. They’ve got more likes but they’re selling less product.”

The future of the industry

Play Gig-It‘s launches this week and the creative team behind it is optimistic. Pulling in a roster of over 70+ artists, recreating lifelike digital counterparts, while promoting it seamlessly was a daunting task.

The Gig-It team takes the pressure in stride. There’s no other video-game based music service out there to compete with, so why compare?

“I think people fighting to save yesterday and not focus on tomorrow. That’s one of the things we always encourage,” Liles said about old money making business models.  “You meet new people, find out what their value proposition is and figure out what you guys can do together.”

Releasing new music and clothes by using a game as a Trojan horse has never been done on this scale before.

Will it succeed? Only time will tell. Liles is optimistic. Smartphones and tablets have naturally increased the number of eyeballs on games.

“If you just look around, video-games will always have a platform. Games aren’t going anywhere,” said Liles.

Will you download Play Gig-It?

Login through Facebook or download here. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

You can check out Kyle’s musical coverage on theGrio music page, and follow him on Twitter at@HarveyWins.