Yeah, Games have done DJing before, like the DJ version of Guitar Hero, named DJ Hero. But this is something a bit different. Although not about traditional DJing, popular online first person shooter (FPS) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has added a new feature that lets you personalise the in-game music using Music Kits.
The update from Valve, the company behind the highly acclaimed Half-Life games and digital games distribution platform Steam, adds Music Kits as one of many in-game purchasable items used to cosmetically customise your experience. Along with wacky team-based online game Team Fortress 2, it has pioneered the concept of micro-transactions as a means of income
You can share your music kit with anyone you are playing with, and they include a special broadcasted MVP Anthem that plays whenever you are MVP.
Nine Music Kits are available now. They feature new music exclusively made for CS:GO by various artists and composers.
Amongst the nine different Music Kits available currently, you can find one made by kinda-famous-maybe Progressive House legend Sasha (not Sash!), featuring music from music label Last Night on Earth.
Although certainly skirting the fringes of DJ technology news, screw it… it’s a Friday!
I’m a huge admirer of Valve as a company, and even with the fairly unpopular concept of in-app purchases (IAP) in the digital world, they’ve shown that if you create a vibrant marketplace, people are willing to pay to customise their characters, weapons and, now, game music. Valve have done a great job of avoiding the ‘pay to win’ concerns of being able to buy a leg up in the game by sticking to purely cosmetic items. There’s even a running joke about TF2 just being about hats. But… people love it. The marketplace allows players to swap and sell the stuff they collect, and some of it is pretty rare and expensive.
You’ll notice that the concept of IAP is spilling over to our industry. Serato, with the update to Serato DJ, changed their business model to let you unlock certain extra features – for a price. And by all accounts, it’s been very successful, for the simple reason that the extras you pay for are certainly added value, but don’t leave the software useless without (I’m looking at you, Serato DJ Intro). As further evidence, look at startup Traktor effects tablet app TKFX, which unlocks features for as little as £0.59 each. All it takes is £6 to get everything working. I wouldn’t be surprised if, with Traktor Pro 3, Native Instruments followed suit in some way.
Let’s just hope no one gets any ideas about adding ‘gamification‘ to DJ and production software. Shoot that one into the Sun.
And if you’re wondering how this is DJing, certain events in the game will play your music to the rest of the players.