August 18, 2014

Fanart Games takes fans to gigs

Fanart Games will produce games that offer concert tickets, among others, as prizes.
Fanart Games will produce games that offer concert tickets, among others, as prizes.
RONI REKOMAA / LEHTIKUVA

What if you could trade the score you have reached in a video game for an authentic record autographed by, say, Sepultura’s members? Or for concert tickets? This will be possible as of September following the release of the Mega Fan! game developed in Jyväskylä.

The founder and CEO of Fanart Games, Patty Toledo, a Brazilian who loves subzero temperatures of -20, moved to Finland six years ago to study digital media. Prior to that, Toledo had worked almost 20 years in the music business as a producer, editor and promoter, among other things, and had the chance to meet many musicians all over the world. The idea for Fanart Games was born out of Toledo’s wish to bring the fans closer to the musicians.

“The company’s idea is to produce games for music and sports fans, for example. The prizes that can be won in the games include concert tickets and records autographed by the artists,” says Toledo, who has been hosting his own radio programme in the UK for 10 years.

The company was founded in Jyväskylä in March 2014, when the project was awarded a 20 000 euro grant from Microsoft’s and Nokia’s AppCampus programme. In just a few months, Fanart Games has grown into the second biggest gaming company in Jyväskylä. It currently employs 11 people.

Next stop Bahrain?

At the moment, the company is developing its first game. The Mega Fan! game is targeted at lovers of heavier music and the players can feature as members of their favourite bands and trade their scores for albums, photos or concert tickets. By the end of June this year, 15 bands from across the world had already joined the project from the United States, Brazil and Germany, among other countries. The names include Sepultura, Oomph!, The Pretty Reckless and Lord of the Lost. In addition, the company is currently conducting negotiations with potential sponsors and 15 other bands.

The Fanart team aims to produce games that can get fans connected with musicians.

The Fanart team aims to produce games that can get fans connected with musicians.

Fanart

“Usually the band members get all excited once they’ve tried the game. Being part of the deal is good publicity for the bands too, even though it isn’t traditional advertising,” Toledo says.

The company plans to open an office in Helsinki too. Later, they might head for Germany or Bahrain.

“The Middle East is an interesting market: lots of money but little gaming expertise. But first we want to gain a strong foothold in Finland. We don’t have actual competitors. The music business is generally quite hard to combine with the gaming business.”

The game will be released in September for Windows Phones. Later this year, it will also be available for Android and iOs phones.

Text: Salla Kosunen

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