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Ever fancied a part in Jesus Christ Superstar or Phantom Of The Opera? Your chance could soon be coming – Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Really Useful Group is to develop a range of video games based on the theatre impresario’s musical stage shows, paidContent:UK can reveal.
The group – founded in 1977 to run Lloyd-Webber’s stage, TV, music and other interests – has been speaking with half a dozen international games publishers, believed to include EA, aiming to develop titles over several years across consoles, PCs and mobile, as part of its multimedia expansion.
The shows, which also include Joseph and Cats, may seem like strange fodder for games, but the group says two industry shifts have prompted its interest – the emergence of more female gamers in the traditionally male-dominated game consumer demographic and the big popularity of singing- and music-based titles like Playstation’s Singstar and Xbox’s Lips. Guitar Hero maker Harmonix’s forthcoming Beatles performance game also shows how music brands can be translated in to play.
The first Lloyd-Webber titles will let players sing along as characters in the composer’s shows and could involve elements of “audition”, just like in his BBC shows I’d Do Anything and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and last year’s Lloyd-Webber-themed episode of American Idol.
Really Useful Group started getting serious about digital with the addition of digital director Douglas Glen from BBC Worldwide last year. Glen overhauled the entertainment company’s website in November to add social features, video, member-only content and ticketing, then launched a YouTube channel in December. Glen: “With the video gaming audience having moved from its male-dominated roots towards a more family-oriented demographic, now is the perfect time for us to take some of the best-known names in musical entertainment in a more interactive direction.”