Fortnite has its ‘Main Stage’ venue; Roblox wants artists and labels to create a plethora of music-focused virtual spaces; Minecraft is being used as a festival venue by a number of promoters setting up their own servers with the game. And now Grand Theft Auto V is getting a new virtual music venue too.
It’s called ‘The Music Locker’ and is being described by publisher Epic Games as “the underground club for everyone”. It’s being created within GTA V Online, the massively multiplayer offshoot from the game – which having generated more than $500m of in-game spending in 2019 alone, has actually become a huge moneymaker in its own right.
The Music Locker is a nightclub that will host performances from real DJs: Moodymann, Keinemusik and Palms Trax are the first to be confirmed for appearances. Any player will be able to visit, but those who’ve upgraded to a penthouse suite in the game’s Diamond Casino & Resort zone will get “exclusive access to table service in the club’s VIP section”.
DJ performances in online games are a fascinating, if slightly sensitive area right now. The publishing and recordings licensing aspects of having DJs play other people’s tracks within a game that has tens of millions of players are fluid, to say the least. At least in GTA V’s case, it’s building on a long history of licensing music from rightsholders.
The Music Locker appears to be part of a wider initiative to bolster the music aspects of GTA V however. “Stay tuned for tons more music news from Los Santos in the coming days, including new radio stations, more new DJs and extra music for existing stations in the city’s biggest musical update since launch,” announced developer Rockstar Games.