A boom in gaming has led to brands looking to it as a new medium, pursuing collaborations with gaming organisations.

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Top Five Gaming/Esports and Music Collaborations to Date

Nutan Lele
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Highlights
With the rise of esports and gaming, brands have began collaborating with teams and publishers.
Artists and sports personalities from around the world are also joining in.
Here are some notable music and gaming collaborations in recent history.

Over the last decade, the esports industry has grown in revenue and as a result, several brand collaborations and sponsorships across different games are taking an interest. A new trend of artists collaborating with different publishers has emerged. With the inclusion in official soundtracks, event collaborations, top bands performing at esports events and gaming conventions, the industry has seen a number of gaming and music collaborations with both PC and mobile titles. Several artists including Drake, Jackson Wang, Sehun, and Post Malone have also invested in esports organisations and brands. Games like Fortnite have seen global concert-like experiences with Marshmello, Travis Scott, and most recently Ariana Grande. We look at some of the most notable music and gaming collaborations to date.

Travis Scott x Fortnite

Epic Games debuted the ‘Astronomical’ Travis Scott X Fortnite event in April 2020. To make sure everyone has a chance to experience the virtual concert, multiple tour dates with showtimes were given for players around the globe. The nine-minute digital concert, which was held in April, grossed the rapper roughly $20 million USD including merchandise sales, according to a new Forbes report. According to Variety, over 12.3 million live viewers tuned in to watch the event.

On 6th Aug 2021, Fortnite also held a similar virtual Ariana Grande concert. In the last few years, Fortnite has seen a steady stream of collaborations including a short film festival and new characters like Marvel’s Avengers, Thanos, LeBron James, and Bugha in the game.

K/DA

One of Riot Games’ biggest ventures into the music world is the virtual band K/DA consisting of League of Legends characters, Ahri, Akali, Evelynn, and Kai’Sa. The group released their first single POP/STARS in November 2018. The characters’ voices were provided by American singers Madison Beer, Jaira Burns, and K-pop group (G)I-DLE. The video has over 456 million views on YouTube. The group also performed their single live at the 2018 Worlds opening ceremony and released their second track, The Baddest with Bea Miller and Wolftyla.

K/DA added Seraphine, a new League character to the group and released their EP titled All Out featuring another hit single, MORE with voice talents of Lexie Liu.

Blackpink x PUBG Mobile

In September 2020, PUBG MOBILE announced a collaboration with hit K-pop group, BLACKPINK in the 13.1 update. The event featured a new Taego Map, in-game tasks, lobby music, airplane and airdrop skins, billboard, emotes, and a total of 37 cosmetics designed by BLACKPINK. The collaboration also saw a new “Fun match” gameplay show featuring all members of K-pop girl group BLACKPINK, South Korean singer Kim Hee-chul, and popular streamers DDEDDEDDEDDE and BEENU.

On 1st Aug 2021, PUBG teased another collaboration with the group.

DJ Alok x Free Fire

Free Fire is no stranger to collaborations with celebrities from all around the world getting characters modeled after them in the game. The recent Free Fire 4th Anniversary event featured DJ Duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. Past collabs included football star, Christiano Ronaldo and regional movie stars like Mohamed Ramadan and Hrithik Roshan. Another addition to the roster of Free Fire in July 2020 was Alok, a popular Brazilian DJ. Alok’s in-game character grants players an AoE healing ability effect. Alok also streamed weekly events with Garena and had a live performance of his new single Vale Vale during the Free Fire World Series finals.

Rocket League x Monstercat

Rocket League’s in-game playlists are quite popular among fans and it contribute to the game’s great atmosphere and get players’ adrenaline pumping. In July 2021, Monstercat, an independent Canadian EDM record label, celebrated its 10th anniversary with Rocket League. The two had previously collaborated in 2017 and released 40 exclusive tracks for Rocket League. You can stream all 10 volumes of Monstercat x Rocket League on Spotify. Psyonix also added car items that were of Monstercat theme to the game, including Monstercat imprint and Monstercat artist flags, a Monstercat decal, and a Monstercat topper. The albums feature contributions from Stephen Walking, Aero Chord, Rogue, Conro, Darren Styles, Infected Mushroom, and other Monstercat artists.

This has been a long-standing gaming and music collaboration.

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Nutan is AFK Gaming's source for everything from Twitch to the Twitterati. Her focus lies in distilling esports content from around the world. As the former captain of Girlaxy India, she brings an experienced eye in analysing the League of Legends scene.