Rock ‘n’ Role-Playing

The bond between musicians and gaming is growing stronger as more pop, metal, and country acts are associating their names with interactive games, mobile and otherwise, in the casual, adventure, role-playing, casino slot, and other genres.

Musicians are not usually associated with any kind of storyline or other premise that lends itself to gaming, aside from the occasional opportunity to create a title based on the lyrics of a particular song. They do, however, offer a robust soundtrack—often including both existing hits and new songs—along with a high level of fame.

Glu Mobile has been one of the key players in the musician-based casual gaming sector. Most recently, it signed a deal with Taylor Swift for a game to be released later this year. Glu has also partnered with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Katy Perry, not to mention other celebrities including Jason Statham, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Kim Kardashian.

Rovio entered the arena last fall when it partnered with Shakira for Love Rocks, a global adventure game featuring 150 levels, each with a Shakira soundtrack.

Beyond casual gaming, Motörhead is the latest act to join NetEnt’s roster of online slot games, which already includes Guns ‘n’ Roses and Jimi Hendrix. Motörhead also has an agreement with Haemimont Games to create an expansion pack for the latter’s Victor Vran role-playing title, available for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Also in the slot space, Spike Games has paired with Alice Cooper for School’s Out, a title inspired by Cooper’s hit song, produced in mobile and PC versions.

In deals such as these, the game developers often tout the fact that the musicians are heavily involved in design and development, although—as with all celebrity-licensing ventures—their actual level of participation may vary.

Karen Raugust has partnered with Ira Mayer, licensing consultant and former publisher of The Licensing Letter, to offer corporate education programs about licensing, with content and format customized to suit the client’s needs. Contact Karen at if you’d like to set up a time to discuss, either by phone or at Licensing Expo in June.

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