Legendary rock band REO Speedwagon has released a first-of-its-kind video game product aimed at the worldwide audience of “casual gamers.” Estimated to be nearly 200 million consumers, casual gamers are primarily adults over 30, more than half of them women – a demographic that overlaps well with the REO Speedwagon audience.
“Find Your Own Way Home – The Game,” was conceived of and produced by digital product studio Curious Sense. It is the first game featuring an actual rock band in the thriving global video game category of “downloadable casual games.” Curious Sense selected GameTantra/Dhruva as the game’s developer following a competition among ten of the best developers in the world.
In Find Your Own Way Home, the player is the protagonist in a story that unfolds across dozens of game levels for several hours of entertainment. The game is designed to appeal to both the typical gamer, and the dedicated REO Speedwagon fan. For music fans, the game introduces new ways to interact with music; and for the typical gamer, it brings several innovative game features to the category – in particular bridges between the game experience and the real world.
As players reach certain milestones in the game they earn prizes. For example, the product features an exclusive release of REO Speedwagon’s new re-recording of their classic, Roll With the Changes, a single from their brand new album, “Not So Silent Night – Christmas with REO Speedwagon,” and a well-hidden “Golden Ticket,” which, when found by the player makes them eligible to win concert tickets and a backstage meet-and-greet with the band.
"Just when we thought we had done it all, along comes an awesome video game, where millions of people around the world can interact with us, and our music. How cool is that?" says Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon. "We are always looking for exciting ways to stay current in a music world which is constantly changing. Video gaming is a whole new vehicle to get our music out to our fans, as well as connect us with new fans world wide...and our avatars are quite handsome."
“Find Your Own Way Home” is unlike fast-paced action video games such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band. This game uses the popular “hidden object mystery game” model to deliver the music of REO Speedwagon to a huge global gaming audience. The game is being distributed globally, in five languages, first as an online product via dozens of “game portals,” then likely, to be put on a disk and packaged for retail distribution.
“With global reach, long, fun interaction time, and a purchase from gamers, products like “Find Your Own Way Home” are high-value marketing experiences and revenue-generating products,” said Adam Blumenthal, CEO of Curious Sense. “This product concept comes from our company’s focus on helping music artists use new media. By building an experience that applies the best practices in game design to a body of great rock music, we have created some very interesting new ways for bands and fans to interact.”
Curious Sense developed the concept for the product with REO Speedwagon manager, Tom Consolo, at Frontline. “Tom encouraged us to draw from the themes of the band’s latest album when designing the game,” said Blumenthal. “Those themes, with a fictitious plot and more than a dozen REO songs utilized in interesting ways, appeals to gamers who may not know REO, and REO fans who may not yet be gamers.”
In the game the player is an entertainment reporter who has been on assignment with REO Speedwagon as they’ve been finishing their new album. The game takes place on the day the new album is to be released at a fantastic release party. But something goes wrong, when Cronin goes missing, and it’s up to the player to locate the missing star.
Curious Sense has designed some innovative incentive programs with the game:
1. Everyone who buys the game will get a discount coupon to purchase REO’s new album, “Not So Silent Night – Christmas with REO Speedwagon.”
2. Hidden deep within the game are “Golden Tickets.” Players who find a Golden Ticket will be eligible to win two real tickets to a real REO Speedwagon concert, and a backstage meet-and-greet with the band.
The game launches along-side other REO Speedwagon’s recently released new Christmas album, Not So Silent Night Christmas with REO Speedwagon, on Sony Legacy Recordings, produced by Joe Vannelli, with associate producer and lead singer Kevin Cronin. The album features 13 Christmas classics with a unique REO Speedwagon musical twist.
REO Speedwagon is set to perform for over 5 million viewers on NBC’s "Holiday Celebration on Ice" special, which will air nationally on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 29th, from 4:00 to 6:00PM EST. The show features figure skating legend Brian Boitano and friends, skating to music from REO Speedwagon.
“Find Your Own Way Home – The Game” can be downloaded on a PC or Mac at most of the major online game portals. It will be distributed around the world in English, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish. The game will also be available from Curious Sense’s Republic of Music Web site (TheROM.com) and at REOSpeedwagon.com. The game concept, creative direction, and production were managed by Curious Sense and developed by GameTantra/Dhruva.