Two new gameplay modes, GH Live and GHTV, usher in the new era of music games as Guitar Hero Live arrives on store shelves today
Guitar Hero, the pop culture phenomenon that captured the hearts of 40 million players across the globe, has been reninvented and is now available at retail stores nationwide with the completely reinvented.
The new game, Guitar Hero Live, has been developed by FreeStyleGames, the studio behind DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2. It introduces a radically improved guitar controller, hundreds of songs and two brand new ways to play: GH Live, a first-person point of view where you play in front of a real crowd that reacts to how you perform, and GHTV, the world’s first playable music video network.
“Guitar Hero is one of the most beloved gaming franchises of all time, and now, after years of research and development, it’s back, totally reinvented, and better than ever with Guitar Hero Live,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing.
“The experience of being up on stage, in first person, playing in front of a live crowd that responds to your performance in real time, will put your heart in your throat. And GHTV, which lets you play along to your favorite music videos will keep the game fresh with a continuous stream of new content. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into Guitar Hero Live and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on it. It’s going to be awesome.”
Each mode of the game delivers a new take on the music game genre. GH Live is a live-action experience that delivers the emotional roller coaster of being on stage, with players performing in a real band, in front of real crowds, who react in real time to how well or poorly they play.
Shot live with musicians performing in front of real crowds, GH Live delivers the raw excitement and stage fright that comes with owning the stage in front of thousands of cheering – or jeering – fans.
GHTV is a 24-hour playable music video network that lets fans play along to a continually-updated collection of official videos, from the newest releases to old hits. GHTV will launch with hundreds of songs and will continue to grow, with new songs added weekly, serving as an ever-expanding source for music discovery. Fans can play along with different channels of music or choose to play one of hundreds of songs on demand.
They can play solo or with their friends in local head-to-head multiplayer, and online against other players trying to master the same song. By plugging in a USB mic, players can sing along to the music in both GH Live and GHTV with lyrics displayed on screen.
GHTV also includes Premium Shows, which highlight premium playable content such as live concert footage and debut music videos in the platform. Fans can also experience the GHTV premiere of the Avenged Sevenfold Premium Show, including playable concert footage recorded at the band’s recent headlining performance at England’s Download Festival. Players will be awarded with a custom Avenged Sevenfold themed note highway and player card.
Activision is also giving fans a chance to get in the game by submitting clips of themselves performing Ed Sheeran’s hit song, “Sing”, through the musical.ly app. Winners will be featured in a world premiere music video that will be playable in the game. Fans can visit www.guitarhero.com/ghtvstar for more information.
Guitar Hero Live introduces a new guitar controller that features six buttons: two rows of three buttons that better reflect the way people naturally play and deliver more fun for players of all abilities. This simple innovation makes it easier for beginners to play and harder for veterans to master. Additionally, fans can sing along in the game, with lyrics on screen, adding another way to play together in the same living room.
Guitar Hero Live takes a fresh take on the music styling of rhythm games. The tracklist includes hundreds of songs at launch, including the music of The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Queen, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fall Out Boy, Pearl Jam, Bruno Mars, Weezer, Iggy Pop, Alt-J, Jet, ZZ Top, Rage Against the Machine, Megadeth, The Strokes, Royal Blood, Ed Sheeran, and Gary Clark Jr. The full list, which will be continually updated, can be found at https://www.guitarhero.com/game/artists.
SA rises as Spotify turns 10
October 2018 marks 10 years since Spotify officially launched its music streaming platform and to celebrate this milestone, Spotify has taken a look at some of its biggest discoveries in music.
Spotify provided the following information:
The service only launched in South Africa in March this year, so this country is not included in the retrospective, but Spotify supplied Gadget with the following local streaming landmarks:
· Most streamed South African artist – Jeremy Loops
· Most streamed female South African artist – Shekhinah
· Highest first-day streaming record – AKA’s Beyonce
Since launch Spotify now sits at 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries. These Spotify users can enjoy a music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and over 3 billion-plus user-created playlists. As of 31 August 2018, Spotify has also paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch.
To date, over 2 000 genres of music have been identified on Spotify, among them Wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), Shimmer Pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British Blues (the blues…with a British flavour).
Spotify has also done an assessment of “listening diversity,” – the number of artists the average user streams per month – which has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years, at an average of about 8% per year. In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40% on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists – meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.
An official Decade of Discovery playlist features the most-streamed songs over the past decade, including favourites like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” and the star-studded “Despacito Remix”.
Festival taps into source code of African identity
The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival enters its final week from 24 to 29 September with a special focus on gaming and beats. With the theme of “Tap Your Afro Source Code”, this year celebrates technology, creativity and innovation from across the African continent.
Dr Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director, says that the theme centres on African visions of technology by tapping into the sources of African tradition and culture alongside technology, creativity and innovation: “This year we are exploring how local culture can move and change the future of technology. How would you understand and unpack the source code of your African identity?”
In its final week, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival explores music culture via the annual Beats Programme curated by WeHeartBeat, which will descend on the Tshimologong Precinct with a six-day takeover of Braamfontein’s tech hub. The program comprising of workshops, experiences and performances, facilitates the meeting of mind and spirit in an environment geared around the festival’s theme, “Tap Your Afro Source Code”.
The Fak’ugesi Beats Lab, running from the 24th to the 28th of September will host international electronic artists and explore the connection between music, technology and culture with local and international artists. The outcome from these sessions will result in an EP release, a short documentary and a live showcase performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on the 29th. The artists featured in the 2018 Beats Lab are S.Fidelity (Switzerland), Zikomo (USA), Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and South African artists Bonj Mpanza and Hlasko.
In partnership with Ballantines Whisky and Business Arts South Africa, the programme includes panels on: ‘The Future of Music’ facilitated by Tefo Mohapi from iAfrikan.com and featuring guest panellists Riky Rick and Thibaut Mullings; ‘Managing Health Amongst Creatives’ featuring psychologist Thembi Mashigo and panel guests Ayanda Seoka, Mx Blouse and more. The day will include a Masterclass with Black Milk (USA), The Art of Remixing with Zikomo(USA) and close with a ‘Power of Collaborations’ session featuring Zikomo, S.Fidelity , Morena Leraba and Bonj Mpanza.
The last week of Fak’ugesi Festival also hosts a special session on the Future of African Gaming on the 28th and 29th of September. A full day on gaming, this will take place in collaboration with Red Bull Basement and focus on the theme of Tech for Good. The programme includes an Indie Games Arcade; a ‘Games for Good’ workshop focused games that address issues in South African urban environment.
The workshop will be followed by a “Futures and Networking” session, inviting the gaming community in the Southern Africa region to contribute to an understanding of what and how the Fak’ugesi Festival can develop and better support African games. This invitation comes after Fak’ugesi Festival in 2018 says farewell to A MAZE. / Johannesburg, which has supported its program since 2013 as the gaming partner.
A MAZE, under the leadership of its creative director, Thorsten S. Wiedemann, linked the Johannesburg gaming scene to an international network of indie developers for six years from 2012 until 2017. The two-way bridge between A MAZE. / Berlin and A MAZE. / Johannesburg inspired other projects like Super Friendship Arcade in Cape Town and Glitch Face in Johannesburg and was a huge impetus in the development of the Game Design programme in the Wits School of Arts. When the Fak’ugesi Festival was established in 2013, A MAZE fell under Fak’ugesi Festival support as the gaming partner. Weidemann added: “It’s been amazing meeting, working and learning from the local and national game and playful media community. We definitely made history together.”
The week’s activities culminate in a celebration at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on Saturday 29 September. This event will reignite the energy and spirit created at the inaugural party in a union of performance, music, technology and digital innovation. The Bloc Party aims to showcase the best in underground talent, both local and international – etching its name in the cultural textbooks as an inspiration to future generations of creators, producers and innovators. The second instalment of this ground-breaking event will host performances from the Beats Lab participants, as well as Black Milk and a strong local contingent including Langa Mavuso, Mx Blouse, Symatics + Ramz, and Micr.Pluto.
Tickets for Thursday 27 September are R50 per session and can be purchased via WeHeartBeat. There will be a limited run of R200 student tickets available for Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, upon presentation of a valid student ID. Workshop and student tickets can be purchased throughout the week at the reception of the Tshimologong Precinct.