Facebook buys studio behind Roblox-style games platform Crayta

Image Credit: Facebook Gaming

What does Facebook Gaming’s purchase of game creation platform Crayta have to do with the music industry? Roblox’s use of music could offer a clue.

Facebook Gaming recently announced the purchase of Unit 2 Games, the game developer responsible for Crayta, a collaborative game creation platform. In the platform users can create their own games without needing to code, and earn money when other users play their creations.

In a statement, Facebook Gaming indicated that with Unit 2 on board, users on Facebook would in future be able to create not just games but “experiences.” So how does that tie into the music industry?

Crayta is similar in build to Roblox, the phenomenally successful games platform which the music business has been eyeing up for revenue and promotional opportunities. Roblox has hosted album launches and livestream concerts, such as Royal Blood appearing as avatars as part of an in-game awards ceremony and a Lil Nas X virtual concert that attracted 33 million views.

With the similarities between Crayta and Roblox there’s the potential for virtual events and opportunities for artists, especially with Facebook’s power behind the platform. The references to “experiences” suggest this is something that Facebook are eyeing up; as Facebook Gaming’s statement said: “Our next phase of growth will come from bringing the activities of playing, watching and connecting closer together.”

Vivek Sharma, VP of Facebook Gaming, said: “We currently have two types of creators on Facebook Gaming: video creators who livestream games and professional game developers who make games on our platform. With the addition of Unit 2 Games, we’ll expand the notion of a Facebook creator to include people who collaboratively build, publish and share games, worlds and new experiences on Facebook.”

The current Unit 2 team will keep working on Crayta as part of Facebook Gaming. Unit 2 Games’ vision was from the beginning to make game creation accessible and build communities around the content created by users.

facebook gaming and unit 2 games

Roblox attracted investment from Warner Music Group, who made an eight-figure investment in the platform at the beginning of the year – could similar music industry attention be paid to Crayta?

Before the industry gets too excited for the potential for in-game events and music licensing on the platform, however, it’s worth noting that Roblox has just come under fire for not licensing music on the platform, with the National Music Publishers’ Association announcing they will sue Roblox for illegally using artists’ music.

The difference for Crayta is that under the Facebook umbrella, there’s the potential for use of Facebook’s existing music licensing deals. Music could form a backdrop to the new games created by Crayta users, and artists would get paid whenever their tracks were used.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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