Now here’s an interesting idea: Rockstar Games and Amazon.com have teamed up to bring you the option of buying any of the tracks you hear in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV from within the game itself:
The in-game radio feature of the Grand Theft Auto games has long been lauded, and now players will have the chance to scoop up the songs they hear in the game to listen to in the real world. A new technology called “ZiT” uses the game’s cell phone feature. When players hear a song they like, they can dial a number on their in-game cell-phone to receive a text message detailing the artist and track title. For users that sign up for the new Rockstar Games Social Club, an e-mail will then be sent with a link to a custom Amazon.com playlist which features the tracks phoned in. These DRM-free tracks will be priced in the 89-99¢ Amazon price range.
The game’s soundtrack reportedly includes over 150 tracks. The developers are “aiming for music geeks by handpicking rare, hard-to-find songs such as Electrick Funk’s 12-inch treasure ‘On A Journey’ and Elton John’s “Street Kids’ off his relatively unheralded Rock of the Westies,” as well as songs exclusive to the game like “‘Vagabond (Liberty City Mix)’ by the Greenskeepers and ‘War is Necessary’ from iconic rapper Nas,” according to a press release posted on Yahoo! Games.
Citing the success of downloadable music sales as implemented in Rock Band as an inspiration, but boasting the ability to take songs outside of the game, Amazon and Rockstar are looking for similar results from players of Grand Theft Auto 4. “Music has long played an integral part of the game playing experience,” said Ronn Werre, executive vice president of EMI Music’s Sales, Licensing and Synchronization unit, in a statement. “We think giving players the ability to identify and buy their favorite tracks from Grand Theft Auto IV’s popular radio stations is a great new music discovery tool for fans and an innovative new revenue stream for artists.”
This shouldn’t be too surprising as Rockstar has sold box sets of the soundtracks from previous GTA games, but it’s certainly novel in its approach. I’d actually be more inclined to use this method as I generally don’t like every song in the game (I rarely listen to the rap stations for example) so I’m not inclined to spring for the whole box set, but would be up to perhaps snagging a song or two that catches my fancy. The fact that you can do it in-game and then take the files to real-world players is pretty freakin’ cool.