Social games publisher We R Interactive has received financial backing from the European Union’s MEDIA program to develop an online music game, provisionally called I Am Star.
The €150,000 (nearly $195,000) grant follows a $5 million second round of funding in May 2011 from private investment, a development that added former EMI Music chief executive officer Elio Leoni-Sceti to a shareholder register that already included: Eric Fellner, co-founder of Working Title Films; Paul Fitzsimons, previously media sector partner at Apax Partners; Peter Mead, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; and Christian Purslow, former managing director of Liverpool Football Club.
MEDIA co-finances training initiatives for audiovisual industry professionals, the development of production projects (like feature films, television drama, documentaries, animation and new media), and the promotion of European audiovisual works.
I Am Star will use the proprietary story-telling platform, Muse, that We R Interactive introduced in its debut game I Am Playr, which launched in Oct. 2011. Players of that game put themselves in the role of a professional soccer player, with their decisions and actions both on and off the pitch affecting the narrative, which is told using live action video and first-person perspective 3D game play. Nike, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo are among the brands that have signed to be integrated into the game, which also features some actual real-life players like Theo Walcott (Arsenal and England) and Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur and England).
I Am Star will put players in the role of a music star. “There is a rich heritage in console based music games that have proven there’s an appetite for user interaction, yet to date interactive music has not successfully translated to social platforms,” Leoni-Sceti said. “We R Interactive is uniquely positioned to address this opportunity and take interactive entertainment to a global music audience.”