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GTA IV's music tie-in turns game developers into music promoters

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 05 May 2008 1:56 User comments (14)

GTA IV's music tie-in turns game developers into music promoters It's no great surprise that video game retailers are very happy with the release of GTA IV, the latest installment of Rockstar Games' wildly successful Grand Theft Auto series. What is a little surprising is the buzz being created in the music industry by the addition of a new feature that connects players to Amazon.com's online music store, where songs featured in the game can be purchased.
"It's a very big deal for us," says Cynthia Sexton, senior vice president of marketing and licensing for EMI Music North America. "We're continually looking for new ways to sell our music. There are millions of people buying 'Grand Theft Auto,' and we hope they will enjoy the music and in turn buy those tracks."

Unlike most game developers, who typically leave the selection and licensing of tracks for inclusion in games to the publisher, Rockstar makes a point of developing and licensing game soundtracks themselves. This can result in high visibility for songs that might not receive any attention from the mainstream market otherwise. In fact, according to Rockstar music supervisor Ivan Pavlovich Amazon had less than 40% of the songs from GTA IV available for sale before when they originally inked the deal to sell it.

While video game related promotions could certainly prove to be a useful marketing tool for both labels and artists, most game developers and publishers don't have the focus on music that Rockstar does, and certainly labels haven't shown any sign they've mastered the art of establishing new markets themselves. So the real question seems to be whether this is the beginning of a new trend, or just one more thing that sets Rockstar Games apart from their competition.

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14 user comments

15.5.2008 2:19

I don't know if people will want to buy the music in GTA IV after hearing them over and over again.

I remember when i finished Saint's Row, i had those cheesy songs stuck in my head for a week straight and they drove me crazy.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 2:20

25.5.2008 4:42
nobrainer
Inactive

The soundtrack is ok but it's what we expect no different to previous instalments, san andreas and gta3 were far better, frankly gta london was a better soundtrack than all.

what deal did rockstart get with this, it's simply a bypassing of itunes marketing campaign from big media as a slap for not allowing them to dictate price fixing bundles to apple, i wonder?

btw amazon.com is regional and the regional credit card, price fixing scam that apple/riaa(bpi, ifpi) was INVESTIGATED for in europe is in full swing here, and is not as yet available in europe due to the findings of the eu courts.

EU blames record labels, not Apple, for iTunes restrictions

Originally posted by hyper:
The European Commission has said that it sees the record companies - not Apple - as being responsible for consumers' inability to buy tracks at the lowest prices by shopping across national borders.

The EU executive sent formal charges to Apple and the major record companies last week because consumers can only buy iTunes in their own countries and cannot shop around for cheaper prices and a broader catalogue in other states.

'Our current view is that this is an arrangement which is imposed on Apple by the major record companies and we do not see a justification for it,' Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told reporters.

The world's major record companies are Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group and Warner Music Group.
avoid the price fixing, anti-consumer scumbags ppl, boycott ALL their products!

seems we have purchased GTA4 does that mean we have purchased the digital soundtrack already or is it just an anti consumer licence where we don't own it after all, thank sony for this new trend of anti-consumer jumping from pc software to main stream products!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 4:45

35.5.2008 8:34

nobrainer
its a mess, all we can do is tell poeple don;t buy new if you hesitate,don't buy in to over priced extras, don't buy over priced.

45.5.2008 10:39

I doubt too many people are going to run out to grab the soundtrack. The repetition in the game is most likely going to be enough, IMO.

55.5.2008 12:32

Wait-

Why not wait for the PC version of the game to come out, buy the PC version if you already don't have the game and takes the songs from the music folder on the disc. Such a rip off.

Plus like older GTA games you can add your own music to the game on PC so you don't have to loss your mind listening to the same junk over and over.

65.5.2008 15:03

Originally posted by hulud86:
I don't know if people will want to buy the music in GTA IV after hearing them over and over again.

I remember when i finished Saint's Row, i had those cheesy songs stuck in my head for a week straight and they drove me crazy.
Besides that I've only heard one song on GTA4 that I liked so far and it was sung by this russian chick. Every other song on there so far has either been pure crap or bland as water. GTA:SA had MUCH better tracks and likely more of them too.

75.5.2008 15:13
goodswipe
Inactive

When Tony Hawk 3 came out, I played it so much that I went and bought an album from one of the bands that was on there.

Album was called Pennybridge Pioneers, by Millencolin. The whole album was pretty damn good if you ask me.




What'cha know bout these guys dRD...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 15:18

85.5.2008 15:32
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by goodswipe:
When Tony Hawk 3 came out, I played it so much that I went and bought an album from one of the bands that was on there.

Album was called Pennybridge Pioneers, by Millencolin. The whole album was pretty damn good if you ask me.


I just want an album full of GTA interludes!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 15:33

95.5.2008 15:42

Compared to the San Andeas sound track, this music is pure shit...

San Andreas had ALL of the good music. Old school rap, hiphop, rock and metal. I wish there was a way to import music to it. Very disappointing. In GTAIV here, even the oldschool is gabbage. Disusting :(

If they had this sort of featrure on SA, I would have bought out half the list(assuming that I buy music) lol

105.5.2008 15:54
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by viny1313:
Compared to the San Andeas sound track, this music is pure shit...

San Andreas had ALL of the good music. Old school rap, hiphop, rock and metal. I wish there was a way to import music to it. Very disappointing. In GTAIV here, even the oldschool is gabbage. Disusting :(

If they had this sort of featrure on SA, I would have bought out half the list(assuming that I buy music) lol
completely agree the soundtrack in previous titles has been spot on, this time, its like the record companies have placed, their choice in the game WTF rockstar?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 15:56

115.5.2008 16:00
goodswipe
Inactive

Originally posted by nobrainer:
Originally posted by viny1313:
Compared to the San Andeas sound track, this music is pure shit...

San Andreas had ALL of the good music. Old school rap, hiphop, rock and metal. I wish there was a way to import music to it. Very disappointing. In GTAIV here, even the oldschool is gabbage. Disusting :(

If they had this sort of featrure on SA, I would have bought out half the list(assuming that I buy music) lol
completely agree the soundtrack in previous titles has been spot on, this time, its like the record companies have placed, their choice in the game WTF rockstar?
What's on there?

I loved those comedy channels they had on Vice City or SA, whichever it was. Do they still have those?

The Beat 102.7
The Classics 104.1
Tuff Gong Radio
Liberty Rock Radio 97.8

They all have some pretty non main stream groups. What's all the fuss about?

Bob Marley and the Wailers - well we know they rock.
Ghostface Killah - gotta love old school wu-tang members - The RZA..the GZA..the Ghostface Killa!
Mobb Deep - more classic east coast.
Nas - another classic artist who's style can't be replicated.
Swizz Beatz - pretty sick producer.

Pretty much all the artists on Liberty Rock Radio jam.

The list goes on..

Hey, at least there ain't some Hannah Montana bs on there, of course I'm sure some of you wish there was though.

/YoNk!

Originally posted by viny1313:
Compared to the San Andeas sound track, this music is pure shit...

San Andreas had ALL of the good music. Old school rap, hiphop, rock and metal. I wish there was a way to import music to it. Very disappointing. In GTAIV here, even the oldschool is gabbage. Disusting :(

If they had this sort of featrure on SA, I would have bought out half the list(assuming that I buy music) lol
This does have some old school rap on there. Minus Too Short and N.W.A.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2008 @ 16:30

125.5.2008 19:44

I'm not saying that it's ALL bad, but the ratio of good to bad songs on IV is much worse then the good:bad ratio for SA...


One think that really pisses me off is that every time I jack a car there's always Latino music playing which I find extremely annoying because it's always the same friggen song!

135.5.2008 20:03

Xbox owners shouldn't need this they just need to turn on the music from the guide button. Waste of money if you go out and buy music

145.5.2008 20:14

Doesn't that black out everythin' else?

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