By: Staff –
Last month, Muse kicked off their Simulation Theory world tour in Houston, Texas, giving fans a first look at their much-anticipated partnership with Microsoft. For the holders of “Enhanced Experience” tickets at each tour stop, a pre-party includes a revolutionary approach to audience inclusion that brings fans into the album’s imagined world through a series of interactive virtual-reality games.
“I hope that fans see the way Muse were thoughtful about using tech to build upon the ways they could interact with the music of Simulation Theory and get even more out of the creative world they have made by taking them actually inside it with VR,” said Amy Sorokas, Head of brand partnerships at Microsoft.
Microsoft has partnered with Muse to develop a totally unique fan experience through three custom VR games, each soundtracked and inspired by a song from the Simulation Theory album. This virtual-reality immersion is initially reserved for dedicated fans purchasing the Enhanced Experience pre-show party package, which includes the opportunity to take photos with props and memorabilia from the newest music videos, exclusive album-themed keepsakes, plus special food and drink.
“In January 2018 we got together in Redmond to talk about the plans Muse had for the new album and give the guys demos of the technology we have at Microsoft,” said Sorokas. “The notion of taking the world they were creating for Simulation Theory into mixed reality immediately struck them as a way to give fans another experience in their world.”
According to Sorokas, Muse drove the creative vision for the games, and that the band “wanted the games to build on the experience they were creating and were there to guide the work.”
“They were excited about VR games as a new media to express their work through and I think they were inspired by the idea of blending worlds especially for Simulation Theory”, said Sorokas.
The artwork for Muse’s latest studio album, created by Stranger Things designer Kyle Lambert, is reminiscent of classic 80’s sci-fi movies, while the album title references “simulation hypothesis,”which alleges that we’re all living within an artificial reality. This is all in keeping with the band’s ongoing themes of a futurist existence, as well as visual interpretations across this album, which portray a more retro vision of tomorrow. Microsoft has incorporated these themes and aesthetics into the games, offering an out-of-this-world fan experience.
“I think this album is the best we’ve ever done in terms of creating this world around everything from the videos, the music, the live show, and obviously now the games as well”, said Muse vocalist/guitarist Matt Bellamy. “It’s the first time we’ve really been this involved in so many different types of mediums and managed to get them all to feel connected.”