From hyper-casual to hardcore, great music is essential to engaging games. Whether it’s a simple 8-bit soundtrack to set the mood for a retro-style side scroller or a fully customizable in-game radio station in an RPG (Role Play Game), music can immerse the player, build suspense, even help tell the story. When players lose themselves in a game, it creates more game play, extends session times, and drives in-app purchase opportunities. And as gaming continues to evolve, so do the exciting ways music can be integrated into games.
Mobile gaming in particular has come a long way in recent years and is becoming one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. With billions of players worldwide, music is being incorporated into these games in a wide variety of ways. Many developers choose to utilize OSTs (Original Soundtracks) or production music, but integrating popular music is now becoming an easily accessible option for them as well. Using licensed music rather than royalty-free music can engage more customers, increase game play, and extend game session times.
Music as a Software (MaaS) pioneer Feed Media Group launched Adaptr so that startups and developers can license popular music for use in new games and apps. Adaptr is a one-stop-shop where developers can quickly find the music they want, easily integrate the SDK into their app, and start streaming rights-cleared music immediately. Before Adaptr, developers needed to invest a large amount of time and money to secure the rights to stream just a few songs in an app.
Now that it’s easier than ever to combine popular music with games, developers have more opportunities to use that music to its fullest potential. To inspire even more great new ideas, here are some of the unique ways in which music is already being integrated in mobile games:
- In-game radio features - The radio stations featuring curated genres of popular music in the iconic Grand Theft Auto (GTA) games have always been one of the franchise’s most beloved features. The music allows players to choose what they listen to while causing (or occasionally resolving) mayhem in the fictional versions of California's biggest cities. In the mobile app rendition of the hit series by Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, players can access an in-game radio to play their favorite songs just like the console versions. Adaptr makes it easy to integrate multiple playlists for in-app streaming giving your players control over the musical vibes.
- Rhythm-based gameplay (and storytelling) - This style of game initially popularized by major titles such as Guitar Hero and Rockband, is bigger than ever before, with countless mobile game options available. But developers have gotten even more creative, blending this style of gameplay with rich storylines and characters.
One such mobile game that utilizes rhythm gameplay is Arcaea, which tells a story of two girls who need the player's help remembering their past. While this 3-D game’s soundtrack features mostly artists from Japan, it shows how using popular music can be used to strike a chord with any fanbase. Similarly, the Cytus series of mobile rhythm-based games tells the story of a distant cybernetic future through various genres including pop, jazz, and trance. With Adaptr, integrating music in rhythmic games like these is like playing on easy mode.
- Music Trivia - Trivia mobile games that challenge players on a variety of topics have been a favorite genre for some time now, but creating quizzes on popular music is now a viable option as well. A game called SONGPOP2, one of the most popular games of its kind, is a great example of how this is done. Players are tested on their knowledge of more than 100,000 real popular music clips from practically every genre. If this style of integration is more of what you want from your mobile games, Adaptr can make this happen with full songs or clips from popular artists.
- Gamify Fitness with Music - Popular music, fitness, and gaming are all being combined in games like Just Dance Now. This app allows players to dance to a large selection of some of the hottest songs, more which are continually added each month. This game lets you interact with up to 1,000 other players, create in-game playlists, and even see how many calories were burned. Adaptr customer, Oga, took this concept one-step further by adding full-body tracking to rank dancers’ performances.
- Background music - Most, if not all, mobile games integrate background music to enhance the gameplay experience, but the options for developers are expanding. Action mobile games like Snowboard Party choose to use energetic popular music as the background soundtrack to immerse the player. Meanwhile, more story-focused games like the award-winning cross-platformer Life is Strange, also available on mobile, use a carefully selected soundtrack of licensed music to set the melancholy feel of the game. Regardless of the music genre your game needs, with Adaptr, you simply need to pick the songs you want and we take care of the rest, all the way from licensing to integration.
These are only a few examples of how the proven power of music can be put to work for mobile games, but the sky's the limit. We’re excited to see the creative ways in which developers continue to innovate in this space and being able to help them easily achieve this through Adaptr’s music API and SDK.
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