dgGame Tantra, the casual games label launched by Bangalore-based  gaming studio Dhruva Interactive in February this year, has developed a new PC game titled ‘REO Speedwagon: Find Your Own Way Home’, reports the New York Times. REO Speedwagon has sung classic love songs such as “Cant Fight This Feeling Anymore” and “Keep On Loving You”. Game Tantra will release the game through its distribution partnerships with BigFish Games and other gaming websites. The game is available on MSN Games and Yahoo Games, and was launched by US based digital agency Curious Sense. reoThe game will also be distributed globally in five languages – English, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish – as a CD/DVD through retail stores.

Although intended as a promotion for REO Speedwagon‘s new album ‘Not So Silent Night: Christmas With REO Speedwagon’, the game is an example of how artists are exploring the online and gaming media and can harness them for new revenue streams.

We have attempted to contact Rajesh Rao, Founder of GameTantra and CEO, Dhruva Interactive to learn if Find Your Way Home is the second PC based casual game by the company after Conga Bugs and to learn more about the development of the game and how it compares with other music games available. We will update the post if and when we receive a reply.

The Game; Incorporating Music

game_logo_300x300The game Find Your Own Way Home is named after the band’s 2007 album and is available on The Republic of Music for download. There’s a free version that allows you to download and play it for an hour, the full game costs $8 (approximately Rs. 370) and is bundled with a 25% discount on the latest album by the band. The downloadable set up file is a heavy 167 MB and the game takes up 192 MB of space, there’s also a Mac version. Unfortunately, the game set up but would not launch due to a display problem at our end. A video introducing the game is available on Youtube.

The game is about a Hollywood reporter whose mission it is to locate the band’s lead singer Kevin Cronin, and the player has to navigate through various scenes, play mini-games, locate hidden objects and solve puzzles. Milestones reached will unlock recordings of the band’s songs. It has 70 levels and the gameplay lasts for 10 hours. Throughout the game, several tracks from REO Speedwagon‘s albums are used and it also features an exclusive release – a re-recording of the song Roll With the Changes.

Coupon Codes; Alternative Revenue Stream

The game offers coupon codes that give buyers a 25% discount on the holiday album; it has sweepstakes for those who find the “golden ticket” hidden within the game and 20 prizes including concert tickets for 2010 and an opportunity to meet the band members backstage. The band’s communique says, “Such revenue is increasingly important to musicians to compensate for the falling sales of CDs and other forms of traditional recorded music.”

Other Online Music Games2

RockBand published by MTV and EA and Guitar Hero by Activision Publishing are a different genre but are also popular amongst users but not amongst artists. This article by Wired explains why. Connect2Media, which published Guitar Hero III Back Stage Pass, recently partnered with Hungama Mobile for distribution in India for 34 games.

Target Userbase

The advantage of combining games with promotions is that the targeted userbase can be addressed and expanded. Find Your Way Home, for instance, caters to adults over 30, including women, which fits in with the band’s fanbase, but it will also introduce a younger gaming population to the band and its songs.

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