Roblox takes a page from the ‘Fortnite’ playbook with new listening parties
The popular video game slash multiverse Roblox introduces a new Listening Party feature that allows artists to host release events for their legions of virtual fans. To celebrate the new feature, singer Poppy is touring various Roblox games to urge players to listen to her latest studio album, Flux, which is released today.
“We always want to find new ways to make music an integral part of the Roblox experience,” said Jon Vlassopulos, Head of Music at Roblox. “Allowing Poppy’s fans to enjoy their new album Flux, where they already hang out with their friends, seemed like a breeze, and our developers took the opportunity to participate!”
Poppy is the perfect choice for a speaker to really start this feature off. She has spent a significant part of her music career posing as the creepy android ranting about internet culture on YouTube. She was also nominated for a Grammy that year. So yeah, having a launch party for their music in the Roblox multiverse is pretty much on the spot.
There’s not much to see here – the Listening Party feature is a little less exciting than you might expect when the Roblox executives talk about it. In practice, it’s less of a new feature than just an in-game event.
The basic premise of a listening party is to get on with the task you’re already working on – only with the added option of listening to Poppy’s new album as you go. Poppy will “travel” to various “experiences” (that is, Roblox language for an in-game game), but it is unclear what exactly that entails. Perhaps your avatar will show up to say hello; maybe not.
Some of the experiences selected to host Poppy’s Listening Party have created specific stages or areas for the event. For the most part, it’s just about staging Poppy’s new album in existing Roblox worlds. However, you will earn “Event Points” by playing songs, and there will be some virtual merch available as well.
Virtual Music Rules – Roblox already has a grip on the heads and hands of children around the world. But the ultimate goal of the game, as many internet companies can attest, is to keep players focused on the game world as much as possible.
Roblox has a difficult history with music. Any music streamed in the game should be licensed first, but Roblox’s skilled developers absolutely broke this rule. As a result, the company behind the game faced a $ 200 million lawsuit from the National Music Publisher’s Association this summer.
However, music has proven to be a huge draw for in-game events. Fortnite really paved the way for events like this and shown that they can be worth the effort. And so, despite the ongoing legal battle, Roblox is working on music-centric events. At least when Poppy is so explicitly involved, the company should be safe from legal ramifications.