Electronic Arts in virtual battle with Second Life

US-based video games publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is planning to take
on Second Life with the launch of an online virtual world. It follows
the acquisition of online karaoke business SingShot.

SingShot, a San Francisco-based online karaoke communi…

SlingShotUS-based video games publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is planning to take on Second Life with the launch of an online virtual world. It follows the acquisition of online karaoke business SingShot.

SingShot, a San Francisco-based online karaoke community, allows members to upload their own renditions of famous songs, share recordings, review other members’ performances, customise recordings with photos and videos and compete in online contests.

The new company is being merged into EA’s Sims division and the Sims brand is expected to be the first to benefit from the acquisition.

EA says SingShot technology can be "applied to several different community projects within EA" and help it to build communities and promote user-generated content. Social networking features take hold and user-generated content are seen as key to further developing online connected multiplayer games.

SingShot is just over a year old and co-founders Ranah Edelin and Niranjan Nagar are to take roles at EA as vice-presidents. The remaining staff will also take roles within EA, says the video games giant.

In a further commitment to social networking, EA has announced a tie-up with Virgin Record and Epiphane to launch a page on MySpace that will feature Burnout Bandslam in an effort to search for new music talent.

Burnout Bandslam offers unsigned bands from the US and Europe the chance to showcase their music on MySpace, where users will be able to vote for their favourite track online. The winning entrants will have their music featured on a forthcoming Burnout video game.

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