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Integrating Spotify with Games

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Hello Everyone. Recently, I was playing GTA SA on my iPad, and one of the in-game radio stations was reserved for the player's own music library. The game could read said library and play the songs on it on the in-game radio complete with the in-game ads. This got me thinking, would a version of this work with streaming services? And what would be the changes and challenges with the system?

I'm picturing it like this. Imagine GTA 6 or something comes out, and the player can link their Spotify account with the game. So when the player gets into a car and flips to a specific radio station, the game either play a pre-made playlist of songs the devs chose for the game or their own specific music and it would play like it was already in the game.

What are the advantages of this:

-Firstly, the music would be integrated into the game rather than as a separate layer. So the player wouldn't have to keep pausing or unpausing their Spotify app, the game would automatically do it depending on the context. Volume would likely also be normalized and have effects applied (like music being muffled if it's coming from inside a car or echo-y if it's in a building)

-Secondly, it lets devs have whatever songs they want instead of needing to licence every individual one allowing for bigger playlists. More songs can be added by both devs and other players depending on the context (e.g more 50's songs for Fallout's radio rather than just the 30 songs Bethesda were able to licence). This would save a fair bit of money. Or the player can just play whatever they want.

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-Thirdly, it can preserve the feel of games longer. Many games are often removed from storefronts when their music licences expire (e.g some of the older Tony Hawk games) or are patched to remove many of their songs that were integral to the atmosphere (e.g GTA VC and SA were patched to remove many of their songs). With this system, if a song is no longer licenced, it would be less likely to require taking the game down. And you can find replacements for some songs at least.

-Fourthly, It's possible the technology used for this can be reused across games.

Now what are the disadvantages:

-Monetization and Metrics will be trickier. If the player walks past a club that's blaring a muffled song from Spotify for a few seconds, will the artist or record label be paid for that? Will it count as a view? I imagine most artists and record labels aren't jumping at the chance. I also imagine only premium users of these subscription services would even get this feature in the first place.

-Most players are probably cooler with just playing through the app.

-The technology may not be future proofed. Suppose in a few years, Spotify releases an update to their service and some older games custom radio stops working. If the game doesn't get updated then the feature is lost potentially forever for that game. Or what if the game gets ported to a different platform that doesn't support it. Like if GTA 6 gets ported to the Switch 2 which doesn't support Spotify. There is no universal guarantee or system for this

-It's likely a fair amount of development time that could be spent on more valuable aspects of a game.

So all in all, it doesn't seem like something worth the effort, but what are your thoughts?

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