Rolling Stone magazine is expanding its brand into videogames for the first time, pairing up with 505 Games to create “Drum King,” a music title that taps into the appeal of hit franchises like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band.”
Game, to be released May 26 for the Nintendo Wii, will utilize the console’s Nunchuck controller to simulate playing the drums along with a song.
The soundtrack features music from 30 different artists including the Clash, the Police, Violent Femmes, Queen, Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Blur, Blink 182 and the Gorillaz. The two companies spent considerable coin licensing the tracks and didn’t work with one specific label to do so.
“Drum King” wound up with a T-rating because of the lyrics in some of the songs.
“It’s a family title but has a little bit of a rock ‘n’ roll edge to it,” said Adam Kline, prexy of 505 Games, which is behind the “Cooking Mama” franchise.
Rolling Stone will promote the game in its magazine, on its website and across other sites, as well as at events and on radio.
Campaign will target music fans, fans of music games and the Wii audience.
Magazine had final approval over the title and provided 505 Games’ creative team with notes during its development.
Rolling Stone publisher Will Schenck said the move into gaming was “a natural next step” for the magazine considering “more people are playing console videogames than ever before.”
Gamemaker felt it needed Rolling Stone’s brand behind the title in order to make it stand out from its more established rivals like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band.” The U.S. operation for 505 was launched last summer and aims to partner with brands on most of its titles in order to generate more awareness for the titles in a highly competitive market. Division’s first game was an interactive version of the DreamWorks and Nickelodeon pic “Hotel for Dogs.”