From Megadeth's own cryptocurrency, $MEGA, to Avenged Sevenfold's Deathbats Club, an NFT-based community which gives fans access to exclusive perks, Web3 has well and truly infiltrated the music industry. Even Joe Bonamassa auctioned an NFT.
It probably only comes as a little surprise, then, that Fender has announced its partnership with Meta – yes, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram – for its first leap into the Metaverse, with a digital world dubbed the Fender Stratoverse.
Created as part of Meta's Horizon Worlds project – a social VR app which allows users to explore virtual worlds – the Fender Stratoverse is dubbed an “out-of-this-world augmented reality/virtual reality music experience”, and consists of a guitar-shaped island surrounded by clouds, floating high up in the stratosphere.
Users are able to explore the headstock, neck and body of the guitar island before reaching the “main attraction”: the Riff Maker scavenger hunt. This gamified experience allows users to build melodies layering sounds they find throughout the Stratoverse.
Sounds are unlocked by completing tasks – including an air guitar challenge, a guitar pick tossing game and answering guitar-based trivia questions – before users can take them to the main island to place them in one of 12 spots in the ‘Riff Maker’, in turn creating custom melodies.
“We could not be more pleased to have been invited by Meta to bring Fender into the Metaverse for the first time,” says Fender CMO Evan Jones.
“As a brand we are committed to enabling all forms of musical expression and are thrilled by the potential this technology has to allow Fender fans and creators to come together, play, and create across borders, cultures, and from any distance.
“Collaboration and experimentation are essential ingredients to the musical journey, and we're looking forward to seeing what creators can do with the unlimited potential of the Metaverse and our first Fender Stratoverse experience.”
Last month, Fender filed trademarks for NFTs and “other crypto-collectibles”, though as we've not heard any more on the matter since, we'd wager the guitar giant made a defensive move in order to ensure its own intellectual property and trademarks aren't left open to violation in the digital space.