Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS ) and Sony Music Entertainment announced a cross-promotional marketing agreement yesterday to support the soundtrack of EA's NFL Street video game.
Under the agreement, NFL Street's in-game soundtrack will draw from Sony artists such as the X-ecutioners, Nas, Lil Jon, Korn, and Fuel. Two of those tracks will also be made into music videos featuring gameplay footage from NFL Street -- one of the deepest collaborations between a video game publisher and a music label to date.
The highly anticipated NFL Street game itself was released today on the Sony (NYSE: SNE ) PlayStation 2, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube platforms. Under the powerful EA Sports BIG label, it is an arcade-like football game -- as opposed to the pure simulation that is Madden 2004 -- that draws from the popularity of EA Sports BIG's NBA Street series.
The agreement further expands the relationship between video games and music. As we discussed earlier, mainstream music has become a bigger part of video games and vice versa. Electronic Arts has been a pioneer in this, featuring artists such as Mos Def, Ludacris, Outkast, and Blink 182 in its games. Sony has also been on the forefront, featuring the likes of Garbage, Snoop Dogg, and Raekwon in its legendary Gran Turismo series.
Music also played a role in making Take-Two Software's (Nasdaq: TTWO ) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City a true smash hit. Its in-game soundtrack consisted of the greatest hits from the 80's. At the time of its release, a companion box set featuring the game's music also was released.
By establishing its relationship with Sony, Electronic Arts strengthens its position both in the gaming world and in our culture at large. Don't be surprised to see more deals like this in the future.