Gig adds another aspect to Sidhe

FIONA ROTHERHAM
Last updated 12:46 17/09/2012
Mario Wynands
KENT BLECHYNDEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Total experience: Mario Wynands says Sidhe is changing from being a “games factory for hire” to one that produces its own intellectual property.

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When Module's Jeremiah Ross performs the Shatter soundtrack live at Wellington's San Francisco Bath House on Thursday, it will be more than just another live gig from a local artist.

Module worked with the country's largest computer games-maker Sidhe in 2009 to produce the original 15-track soundtrack for the Playstation 3 game Shatter, and it was first performed live for the launch.

This time around Sidhe's managing director Mario Wynands said they wanted to bring all the elements together; blending the physical performance, the digital product and the virtual experience.

The performance will be live-streamed free to a global audience and those who turn up to the Cuba St venue will be able to buy copies of the computer game, downloads of the soundtrack, and a limited edition vinyl record of the soundtrack in translucent blue, which Sidhe produced to give game fans something a little extra.

It's all a part of Sidhe's transformation from being a “games factory for hire” to one that produces its own intellectual property, and also manages that process for other developers globally.

In 2009 it launched its PikPok division, which makes games for iPhones and iPads. Since then Sidhe has released 21 games on mobile/tablet with another seven under development, compared to just six console and PC games and one in development.

That reflects overall growth in the New Zealand video games industry, which has doubled in the past two years, with 60 per cent of Kiwi studios releasing games for mobiles in the past year.

As 90 per cent of Sidhe's games distribution is online, it is easily able to also on-sell separate downloads of games' soundtracks it has commissioned.

“It gives us another discovery product for the game and an opportunity to tap completely separate markets,” Wynands said.

About 600,000 copies of the Shatter game and 30,000 copies of its soundtrack have sold so far, which is more than a lot of Kiwi bands do for their albums, he said. It has already had more than 1 million streamed plays online.

“We have a great relationship with him [Ross] and other musicians and it gives people like him an opportunity to access the global market without having to do the usual things.

"They can still do their physical shows and build up grassroots support but more people get exposed to their talent.”

Sidhe/PikPok have released seven soundtracks online so far.

Wynands said it was a “meaningful” rather than a major revenue stream for the Wellington developer.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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