Anarchy Online Hosts In-Game Concert

I just found out about this.  

Durham, USA – August 10, 2007 – Funcom is proud to reveal the world’s first MMO concert delivered via in-game video feed delivery. The popular US band “All American Rejects” will have a unique virtual concert for the many citizens of Rubi-Ka this Sunday, perfectly merging technology and music from the 21 st century with a game set 25,000 years into the future.

While some games have had virtual avatars of bands performing in their virtual worlds, this will be the first known concert via dynamic mega size screens, delivered through technology developed by Microsoft Corp.’s Massive. Gamers will see the band’s performance, hear them and be able to mingle in the giant concert arena specifically designed for this historical event.

The concert is available free of charge to all players of Anarchy Online, and all they need to do to see it is to opt to toggle on viewing of the commercial advertising billboards in the game during the event. New players to the game can simply go to http://www.anarchy-online.com to download the free client, but since the event is secured via a sponsorship deal with a major U.S Telecom provider it can only be seen by North American gamers. With time Funcom hope that it is possible to expand the offering to global users, as well as providing other encore events.

Craig Morrison, the Producer / Director on Anarchy Online stated, “Virtual world entertainment is definitively expanding, and this historical opportunity to bring a concert to our players is something we have wanted to do for years. We know how much our players love music, whether it’s the award winning soundtracks from the game, listening to the in-game radio station GridStream or bringing their own, and now they will get to experience yet another level of interaction thanks to Microsoft Corp.’s Missive’s unique technology.”

I’m honestly surprised we haven’t seen more of this type of convergence between MMO’s and other media (for better or worse.)  While I think its a cool idea and it sort of fits with AO better than most other games, I don’t see how AO could really benefit from this, especially since the game is free.  I suppose a few people might end up giving the game a shot after downloading it to check this out, but I think this game is pretty much already dead.  It had a decent number of subs during its prime, but I think there are too many other games out there right now for this to really compete (regardless of the fact that it’s a rare sci-fi  MMO in an ocean of fantasy games.)  While this idea is novel, I think for the most part it’s just a gimmick to get some more numbers for a dying game. 

~Kanthalos

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