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Need info for video game

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Need info for video game

Postby kglarsen » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:23 am

Hi there!

My name is Klaus, and I’m from Denmark. I’m currently working on a video game which is about the music business. You as the player is in the role as manager of a record label, and the game evolves around all tasks a record label is responsible for.
This is a business-simulation game, and my goal is to make it as realistic as possible. Right now I have an “issue” concerning music exports to other countries.

Just so that you’re warned, this is a rather long post!

Firstly we should ask: “What makes a song/act popular?”
-How commercial the music is
-How high the quality is
-How popular the genre in question is
-Which look/style the act has
-What lyrical theme is there in the song
All these factors (plus more are going to be featured in the game)

However these things can’t apply on a global perspective…

My personal observation is that music from USA generally performs best in other countries around the world – why is that?
Why is it that the American music market is as closed as it is for foreign acts? I remember seeing some figures saying that around 92% of music bought in USA is by US acts. While in my country, Denmark it’s about 50/50.
Initially this will tell us that people in Denmark are generally more open to music from other countries – still I only see foreign acts on the Danish charts coming from USA and UK (Generally speaking). Why is that? Why don’t I see acts from France, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina etc.?

My initial answer is that there must be some cultural thing playing a mayor role here. I mean, some random pop song from France (with English lyrics) is VERY commercial, and does VERY good in France, but it doesn’t manage to really get out of France and become popular other places. However if the exact same song was made by a US/UK artist it would become a hit in eg. Denmark.
The US/UK “culture thing” applies for most European countries (mostly western-europe as far as I can see) while other countries have difficulties reaching an international audience.
I don’t see French music on the Danish charts – but I would probably NEVER see Japanese music on the charts! Why? Which elements play a role here?

The magazines, radio stations, TV stations, labels, and distributors etc. of course play a major role here. If the acts don’t get interviews, airplay or support from labels they won’t sell (at least BIG time).
However, I would argue that a French act, trying to break-through in eg. Denmark they get support from the medias, get airplay and the local partner is supporting them – they would still sell less records than if an US/UK act was in their place. Why is that?

To simulate this phenomenon in the game, would it then be fair to simply say that music from certain countries have different popularities in different countries?
UK popularity 89%
Germany popularity 90%
Australia popularity 90%
Poland popularity 80%
Japan popularity 50%
Sudan popularity 20%

Music from USA sells well in “the western world” while it has a bit harder time breaking through in eg. Japan. Then let’s take my home country:

UK popularity 4%
Germany popularity 17%
Sweden popularity 28%
Australia popularity 3%
Poland popularity 6%
Japan popularity 3%
Sudan popularity 5%
US popularity 3%

Music from Denmark performs quite well in Germany and Sweden, however it has an extremely hard time performing well in other countries.

Would this be a fair model to use?

It would state that music from USA, is generally popular all over the world. UK music performs to an excellent level in most parts of Europe. I don’t know if there is a country in Asia, Africa and South America you could say is dominating those regions?

These % would represent both general support from the medias, labels etc. and the publics reaction to music from that specific country. There are of course exceptions in this. Currently a Danish band called Volbeat is getting quite a lot of attention in Europe and USA – this is of course a part of the eg. 3% in USA – there is a slight chance of getting noticed in the US music market.

One last thing – is it really an advantage to be popular in your home country in order to get attention in foreign countries? I mean, does the medias, radio stations, potential buyers, labels etc. care about sales in your home country? If we’re talking about USA – yes it probably is a big deal – if you’re big in USA, you got a good chance of getting attention in other places. But what about being VERY popular in Denmark – would that play a role?

I’m looking forward to comments on this, since it will really help me in the development of this game – thanks in advance!

P.S. – If you know of another forum where this post would be more fitting, please let me know. (eg. Some forum where label managers and band managers hang out
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