Lil Wayne packages new CD with videogame

2010-10-12 08:42

Denver, US – Everyone knows CD sales are down. The solution? Bundle it with a videogame. That seems to be the trend these days, the latest example of it coming from Lil Wayne.

The rapper – who on November 4 will complete an eight-month jail term for a weapons conviction – has partnered with the makers of DefJam Rapstar and US retailer Best Buy to give away his latest album, I Am Not a Human Being, to anyone buying the game.

There are limitations: The giveaway lasts from October 12 until October 19, and only in Best Buy locations.

The deal was struck between Rapstar creators Def Jam and 4mm Games, and Wayne’s label Cash Money Records.

Wayne’s single A Milli is also featured in the game, which is a rap-centric karaoke game that lets users record and share video of themselves performing.

The news comes on the heels of a similar album-game bundle from Soundgarden. The reunited group is piggybacking on the newly released Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock videogame, attaching a copy of the greatest hits retrospective Telephantasm to 1 million versions of the game.

That was a one-week exclusive made available to Guitar Hero fans a week before the album was otherwise available for sale. Soundgarden also provided an exclusive track to the game, Black Rain, and the full Telephantasm track list is available in the game as downloadable content.

This practice of bundling albums with games inspired the Recording Industry Association of America to revise its rules on awarding Gold and Platinum status to albums.

Telephantasm, for instance, was given Platinum status as a result of the 1 million bundles, as the units were nonreturnable.

However, since the product was scanned by retailers as a videogame, sales were not able to be counted by SoundScan as an album purchase and therefore were not reflected on Billboard’s charts.

So far, these experiments have been limited to music-focused games like Guitar Hero and Rapstar. It will be interesting to see if recording artists start doing the same with other types of games that enjoy even more widespread popularity, such as the Modern Warfare franchise or other action-based titles.

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