The future of Music and the Gaming Industry

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

A decade ago, Oculus released the first next-generation VR headset. Tech companies soon followed suit to create customer’s best desired computer-simulated environment. While most of our experiences with VR has been gaming, companies are shifting their gears towards the music industry as we speak. 

Last month, Travis Scott debuted his new track, The Scotts with Kid Cudi, in an ‘Astronomical’ Fortnite event. The set attracted 27.7 million viewers, leaving the music industry in awe and inspiring companies to invest in this field and maximize the benefits of combining music with video games. 

Apple Music recently confirmed its acquisition of NextVR, a new startup in California that focuses on virtual reality live broadcasts on sports, music, and entertainment events. Although Apple has declined to discuss details of the estimated $100 million deal, experts say this might be their final move towards producing VR headsets.

In other news, Sony Music has been searching for a team of technical executives ranging from gameplay engineers, technical animators, and lighting artists to enhance video game creation. “One Sony”, an idea that would combine departments including Sony Pictures and Sony Game & Network Services to enhance its recorded music division. 

From the job descriptions posted on job apps, candidates would be tasked with “leveraging Sony Music’s vast catalog and roster of artists… [as well as] designing and implementing a new category of music experiences which utilize the latest game engine-based software and tools”. 

Rolling Stone’s article Why the Music Business Should Be Looking Closely at Fortnite mentioned Epic Games’ potential influence in the creative music industry for years to come. For those who aren’t familiar with the company, it is the founder of ‘Unreal’, a host engine that video games including Fortnite are built on. 

Sony’s achievements in combining music with video games reach beyond just creating live concerts on Fortnite. Sony's One Sony vision seems to be translating to reality as Khalid, Alan Walker, and Bring Me The Horizon teamed up to contribute original recordings for the video game: Death Stranding. Furthermore, Sony's Unreal Engine was used to provide a more immersive experience for Chainsmokers' Paris VR Virtual Reality app for PlayStation users, which has set a precedent for others to follow.

Despite the hardship and challenges that coronavirus presents, it’s a huge turning point for companies in the VR industry. There has never been another time in history where we are limited as such and have the technological power to enhance our limited physical environments.