Thanks for your interest in what we’re doing. We’ve written this as a brief overview of what we are doing and how we envisage interacting with and delivering meaningful value for artists and bands.
SoshiGames is, first and foremost, a computer games publisher. We make games on social networks that let people discover, interact with and share music experiences.We focus on social games; online, browser-based games that reside within social networks (such as Facebook) and which allow a broad demographic of users to play with or against each other. These players are typically not what would traditionally be termed ‘hardcore gamers’, indeed most would probably not self-identify as being ‘gamers’ at all. FYI – that’s over 400million players on Facebook alone!
SoshiGames has released our first game; MusicFestivals Game, which is available on Facebook now at the following URL:
The game blends elements of many well-known games such as Farmville, The Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon but does so in a light-touch, non-geeky manner that makes it accessible to a broad range of players from ages 8 to 80, both male and female. Players get to create, grow and manage their own virtual music festivals complete with stages, a wide range of business and decorative items and, of course…..lots of toilets.
The goal of the game is to create a well-attended festival and to do that players need to earn both ‘coins’ and ‘karma’. To earn these, players build virtual stages upon which they are able to ‘book’ real world artists and bands (either through a text search or via various pre-provided tags such as ‘popular’). Each stage has a genre such as, for example, ‘rock’, ‘country’ or ‘J-pop’ and it’s graphical treatment is strongly themed around that genre. A rock stage on which the player selects Black Sabbath, Metallica and Guns & Roses will earn that player a bunch of virtual coins. As the music tracks played are randomised, this will drive discovery of established act’s back-catalogue.
Players also need to earn karma if they are to grow their festival. Karma is earned primarily by booking unsigned or emerging acts and artists. The more that you book (and listen to) unsigned acts, the more karma you accumulate and the more things you can do and build in your festival. This is how the game fosters music discovery for unsigned and emerging acts.
As well as delivering a compelling consumer entertainment experience we are also very focussed on solving the problems associated with music discovery and that is why we seek to partner artists and the wider music industry.
The model is quite simple; artists and/or connected organisations/media use their social media presence to raise the profile of the game. In return the game exposes the artists’ music to new fans, fosters track sales, and, in some cases, a share of virtual goods revenues.
For unsigned/emerging acts; whereas a band might drive tens, hundreds or maybe thousands of new players to the game (by promoting it on Facebook), their music will then potentially be exposed to millions or players.
For established acts (those with a significant Facebook fan base); we are entering into direct agreements to create custom-designed stages and other in-game items that are themed around these acts. These items will more often than not involve some form of premium (paid-for) benefit to the player and this revenue will be shared with the acts in return for their promotion of the game to their fan base.
Songs are streamed via an in-game ‘radio’ player which shows artist’s name, song title and album art. Instead, when players ‘book’ bands (both established and emerging/unsigned) they then get to listen to a random stream of 30/60 second preview clips from these artist’s songs. This creates kind of time-lapsed effect which is appropriate considering it is a ‘god’ game where you create and manage your own virtual festival.
Everyone loves a good music chart and we’re no different. We periodically publish charts of the most popular (most booked) bands in the game. Sometimes we filter this by the stages that the players booked the bands on e.g. The Isle of Wight Festival have a stage in game where we found that the most frequently booked bands pretty much correlated with the announced 2012 line up!
We’re working on providing automated chart generation tools whereby players will be able to create custom charts e.g. “Top 100 Metal Bands booked by players in the US in 2012.”
We are building what we call the ‘gamification’ of music track sales and we are confident that the click through rates to purchase will exceed that from static ecommerce sites particularly for non-mainstream acts.
Alongside the in-game radio player is a ‘BUY’ button. If the player likes a song that is being played, they can click this button and a new window will open with that song pre-selected – ready to be purchased – through our partner, 7digital.com
Firstly, it is important to state that we don’t license music e.g. in a traditional synching manner. We utilise random preview clips based on players ‘booking’ bands and then provide purchase opportunities for the tracks that the players are exposed to.
Presently for a band/artist to be featured in the game they must have their music available on 7digital.com from where we access over 17million tracks. In time we will be adding additional aggregation services particularly with a focus on those that can supply emerging, unsigned and niche/global acts.
Signed acts need do nothing for to be included in the game as chances are that their music is already accessible via the game. Their fans that play the game will search for them; other players will come across them via features such as ‘popular’ or ‘suggested’ listings or via their friend’s suggestions.
With ‘unsigned’ acts we are adopting a 2-phase process:
Phase 1 (now!): Acts that happen to be on 7digital.com already (there are many) can potentially be listed as ‘featured acts’ in the dedicated unsigned stages that we have in the game. Initially our team are selecting a small number of these to ensure a broad variety of genres to suit all tastes. Typically we look for acts with something of a social media following (100+ fans on Facebook etc) as we see this as a minimum quality filter.
You can search to see if you/your band are already on 7digital simply by visiting the following URL and entering the artist/band name in the search field.
Please note that some artists/bands may be on 7digital but may not appear if they have not been licensed for distribution in the territory from where you are accessing the game.
You can submit your music to 7digital using a 3rd party service such as Ditto Music – http://www.dittomusic.com/DittoMusic/ – a pretty painless and very cheap way to get songs distributed across multiple platforms including iTunes.
Phase 2 (TBA): We then plan to work with additional partners who aggregate unsigned/emerging acts’ music. In order for those bands to be featured in game, their music needs to be available to us via that service/platform. In addition, we also plan to host tracks ourselves for some artists.
 Signed/established acts (e.g. with label/management representation and 10,000+ Facebook fan base)
Please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our commercial team will get in contact.
 Unsigned/emerging acts
For phase 1 – if your music is on 7digital.com – please tell us who you are and point us to some of your tracks as well as to show us that you have some evidence of a social fan base. Technically your music is then already available in the game however it is unlikely that most players will seek it out as you/your band is by definition ‘unknown’. If we decide it fits with our criteria we will select you/your band to be one of up to 50 featured acts on a dedicated virtual unsigned stage for a period of time. This will drive awareness of you and your music.
Please email the information (above) to email@example.com
In addition we may also be featuring truly unsigned acts on a fan page with the opportunity for fans to vote for them to be featured in the game.
Please note, whilst we will endeavour to acknowledge every email, we are not an A&R service and lack the resource required to provide in-depth follow-up with each and every submission and cannot in any way guarantee your inclusion as a featured artist or band within the game.
We will announce our plans for phase 2 within a few months once the necessary infrastructure has been built and commercial partnerships put in place.