iHeartMedia has launched its first virtual world in Fortnite, called iHeartLand, as the company expands its marketing investments into the metaverse and towards younger audiences.
iHeart, which generated $954 million in revenue during the second quarter, first Announced plans in January to launch its own branded virtual world on platforms such as Roblox as part of the radio giant’s larger Web3 strategy. iHeartLand’s Wednesday launch at Fortnite marks the first introduction of iHeartMedia’s virtual world and will serve as a testing ground for future iterations of iHeartLand in other world-building games, executives said. The Hollywood Reporter.
iHeartLand was created by game developer Atlas Creative using Fortnite creative mode and includes a main stage, various mini-games, and an iHeart “headquarters”, which features a recording studio and a replica of the tunnel entrance to iHeart headquarters in New York City.
Players will be able to explore the virtual island, play games, take selfies on the red carpet and watch performances on the main stage, called State Farm Park, which is expected to host 20 events next year with popular iHeart musicians and podcasters. At launch, mini-games will include a car racing game on an iHeart-shaped race track, a cloud obstacle course, a building game, and a musical chairs game that requires players to jump from various tiles. of colors and avoid landing on certain colors Playing these games will give users a chance to win “gold” which is an iHeartLand-specific currency in Fortnite and can be spent on items such as fireworks and Boogie Bombs, a grenade-like object that forces player avatars to dance.
But the main draw of iHeartLand will probably be the main stage, which will kick off its series of events with a performance on September 9 with Charlie Puth. The concert follows similar performances in the game by artists such as Ariana Grande and Travis Scott in Fortnite, though Puth won’t appear as an avatar on iHeartLand like Grande and Scott did on their respective shows. Instead, the Puth concert, which was recorded in advance at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, will be a 2D projection shown on the main screen at State Farm Park.
In addition to the performance, which will feature new music from Puth’s upcoming album, fans will be able to participate in an interactive trivia game, where Puth asks a series of questions and fans can earn XP coins for answering correctly. A separate album release party for Puth’s next album, Charlie, will happen at iHeartLand on October 7.
“As these artists come in, they are also very excited to reach these new audiences because, keep in mind, this is also a discovery platform for them to debut new music with audiences here at Fortnitesays Jessica Jerrick, executive vice president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia. THR.
iHeartLand will remain free to gamers, according to Conal Byrne, president of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group, who promotes the Fortnite the island’s ability to bring concerts and events to more people. “This was a way to capture events like Charlie’s and actually democratize access to them a little bit better through technology,” says Byrne. “There is no intention to block access to this down the road or anything like that. I think it’s actually quite the opposite.”
Instead, the company can monetize the virtual world through sponsorship deals and other ad placements. At launch, State Farm has exclusive naming rights to iHeartLand Stadium in all of its iterations across multiple world-building game platforms, which will include Roblox in the future. In March, iHeart also partnered with Super League Gaming to sell ads in iHeartLand and other virtual worlds, allowing iHeart to receive a portion of the revenue from any deals facilitated through the partnership.
Alyson Griffin, State Farm’s vice president of marketing, declined to share the specific terms of the insurance company’s agreement with iHeart, but the executive pointed to State Farm’s past entries in the games: “Jake from State Farm” appears on the this year’s edition. NBA 2K gaming, for example, and the company’s longstanding relationship with iHeart. “We want to learn. We want to try new things, we want to see how it evolves and we are committed to this,” says Griffin. “Obviously you don’t make an entrance like this to do this for a few months.”
And based on user feedback and post-launch engagement, “iHeartLand and State Farm Park may evolve differently and dramatically” based on what players “love and dislike less,” says Gayle Troberman. , director of marketing for iHeartMedia.
“Children come to the dinner table and talk to their parents about… [seeing] the Charlie Puth show at State Farm Park and then they played this game and went into this tunnel? Troberman says. “That’s going to be a hit for us.”