insomniac unity

We’ve written a lot about gaming firm Epic Games’s move into music, from concerts in Fortnite and a virtual exhibition with Radiohead to its acquisitions of Harmonix and Bandcamp. Underpinning the company’s efforts to meld music and metaverse are its Unreal Engine development tools. But that’s not the only platform of its kind, and one of its biggest rivals, Unity, is also making music moves.

This morning, Unity has announced a partnership with live music firm Insomniac Events, the company behind festival brands including Electric Daisy Carnival and Wonderland. The two companies say they will bring “a brand new, persistent metaverse world to its fans community where they can gather and engage virtually for live music performances regardless of location”.

Right now, that’s about all the details we’re getting, but Unity SVP Peter Moore – a games industry veteran with past jobs at Sega, Microsoft and EA – is giving a talk on “next gen tech and the live entertainment revolution” at SXSW this weekend to give more information.

(The session blurb offers some clues on Unity and Insomniac’s plans though. “Imagine going to a concert with your friends from across the country – even if you are not physically in the same state. Envision meeting your favorite performer – and having a personal conversation…”)

Insomniac’s latest public stats show it produces 10,000 concerts, club nights and festivals, attracting seven million attendees a year, so it should have the clout to do something interesting in the metaverse.

It also has some prior experience, having worked with Roblox in October 2021on a virtual version of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. The experience has been visited more than 5.1m times. Insomniac was also an early adopter of Twitch, and has been regularly ranked among that platform’s top music channels.

Building a whizzy music metaverse is one thing, but attracting fans beyond the initial novelty period and making a business of it quite another. But with two titans of the game-development tech world competing to help the music industry tackle that challenge – not to mention Roblox, Meta and others engaged in this task – we can expect plenty of energy to be applied to the challenge.

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