Warner Music Group to launch musical roleplay experience on Roblox

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Global entertainment company Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced the upcoming launch of Rhythm City, an innovative music-themed social roleplay experience, on Roblox.

WMG developed the metaverse experience with leading gaming company Gamefam. Rhythm City will introduce Roblox users to numerous artists and music through social roleplay, mini-challenges and virtual concerts.

Users will gain access to digital items that are only available on Roblox. On the platform, they can choose a variety of roles within the entertainment industry, including DJ and dancer.

This experience also provides opportunities for artists to engage with their fans. WMG explained that the new method of artist-fan interaction is necessary since the world has become more digital.

“WMG is focused on facilitating the foundations of these new experiences by building and experimenting across evolving ecosystems,” WMG chief digital officer and EVP of business development Oana Ruxandra said.

“This partnership with Gamefam sees WMG creating a place for artists and audiences to come together to define and contextualize their communities within living spaces.”

“We are thrilled to have a chance to combine our passion for developing authentic, highly-engaging metaverse content with our love of music”

Joe Ferencz, founder and CEO of Gamefam

Gamefam founder and CEO Joe Ferencz said he was “thrilled” to collaborate with WMG to provide an experience that the entertainment company claims to be the first of its kind. Ferencz said WMG’s cutting-edge strategies and Gamefam’s industry expertise would help Rhythm City build a community of music lovers on the metaverse.

Users can start accessing Rhythm City on February 4, 2023. The game is accessible on Android, iOS, PC and Xbox One.

WMG’s metaverse ventures

For WMG, Rhythm City is not its first venture into the metaverse. Over the past few years, WMG has brought some of its artists to Roblox, including David Guetta and Ava Max. Although establishing the Roblox characters of its artists creates a channel for engagement, Rhythm City expands the idea with more gamified features.

WMG — through its affiliated company, Spinnin’ Records — also works with Web3 metaverse platform The Sandbox to launch a DJ contest. This event runs from January 26 to February 8 and allows anyone with a verified Sandbox account to participate.

From this metaverse event, five DJs or music producers will get a shot at launching their careers across multiple platforms. They also get more public exposure and can win a share of the 50,000 $SAND prize pool.

WMG announced a partnership with digital fashion startup DressX at the end of last year. DressX will help WMG artists to create licensed virtual wearables and merchandise for fans. There will likely be NFT components involved in this project.

As a company with decades of experience in the entertainment industry, WMG has adopted modern technology into its business practice. It established WMX, a next-generation artist services division, which includes live music platform EMP and concert discovery service Songkick.

Growth of metaverse

In 2022, the global metaverse market was valued at $51.69 billion. The metaverse market valuation is expected to exceed the $1.3 trillion mark by 2030 at an estimated CAGR of 44.5 percent.

Companies other than WMG also invest heavily in this Web3 sector. In 2021, Epic Games acquired Harmonix Music Systems to develop musical experience and gameplay for its popular game Fortnite.

In the same year, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings also announced a partnership with the Asian Institute of Digital Finance. Both parties planned to support the fintech industry in Asia by creating education, research and entrepreneurship programs.

This decade, most metaverse users access the virtual world through their PCs. There are several tools to enhance the metaverse experience on PC, including WMR headsets and Oculus Rift.

In 2021, the gaming segment of the metaverse brought in the most revenue to the market. The trend is expected to continue in the coming years.