A group of developers have broken away from Activision’s FreeStlyeGames studio to form a new mobile games outfit called Music In Colour.
The studio, headed up by former FreeStyleGames boss Chris Lee (pictured), is now building an iOS music game with the support of major label Sony Music Entertainment.
FreeStyleGames was saved from closure in April, after Activision pondered the future of the Leamington-Spa outfit. Redundancies came after Activision agreed to support FreeStyleGames but with a reduced headcount.
“The music business needs to capture a new audience," said Lee, now the joint managing director at Music In Colour, speaking to the Guardian.
"Rather than make a game then license the music, this is much more of a partnership. We think there is a great opportunity to leverage the mobile platform to build something that reaches a wider audience, and monetises music,” Lee said.
The startup’s debut iOS game, called ‘Say What?!’, uses the familiar Guitar Hero conveyor-belt system, but instead feeds through lyrics – both real and phoney – that players must guess correctly and tap in time. As play progresses, the on-screen lyrics become more cryptic.
“There will be puns left, right and centre that take you a good five seconds to crack what the icon is representing," explains Yuli Levtov, the game's designer.
Lee added: "It's almost a Generation Game mechanic: a simple layer that lives over the music. We're not trying to be cleverer than that. This is about something that appeals in its simplicity, and we're trying not to niche it. It should appeal as much to 8-13 year-old girls as it does to 30-40 year-old males."