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How K / DA virtual band released EP during the pandemic

Regardless, it’s an approach exclusively for virtual bands. Real-life groups will sometimes rotate and replace their members, but it is almost impossible to pretend that multiple people are the same person. (It’s not without some creative imitations anyway.) Fiction groups like Gorillaz have long been experimenting with this idea, because it allows them to move seamlessly between genres – often people. Their younger fans didn’t realize that a change was happening backstage. K / DA isn̵

7;t going to move to experimental jazz anytime soon, but this strategy gives Riot a similar level of flexibility.

“It makes K / DA feel more like a concept than an actual band,” explained Morales, “where we can mold it in any way we think fit the story or spread. that we want to talk about that year. ”

Social media campaigns

According to Morales, Riot Games will initially promote the EP with some sort of “real-world presence”, including music festivals like SXSW in Austin, Texas. However, the coronavirus outbreak has derailed those plans. At the same time, the group also knows that a champion based on music for League of Legends, called Seraphine, which is currently in development. That resulted in a social media campaign combining her revelation with K / DA’s EP comeback. “It not only allows us to let our players participate in things like these challenges, but also allows us to speak up and a kind of personality behind some of the things that we are doing, “Morales explained.

The multi-part campaign starts with Twitter and Instagram accounts – both with @seradotwav accounts – for Seraphine. “Hello world,” the musician shared on June 26 with a few selfies. She quickly continued with a tweet that said “start this account to share music and hopefully connect with everyone”. Riot Games continued to post without publishing an account or confirming that Seraphine is an upcoming League of Legends champion. Notably, the team created this fictional content around her alternate cosmic identity – the universe that lives on Earth, like the K / DA – rather than the in-game version, which lives in the world. Runeterra mythology.

Through these posts, the group has slowly built up her storyline as a young but talented musician waiting for a major breakthrough in the industry. “For a number of weeks it went undetected,” said Morales. But eventually, the world has found her account and begins to speculate about her origin and connection to League of Legends. Then, on August 20, Riot Games launched a similar set of social media accounts for K / DA, announcing that their next song, The Baddest, will be released at the end of the month. there. The very next day, Seraphine posted a short video of the acoustic Pop / Stars cover on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“Everyone’s making all these theories breaking down the little things we put into her social media posts. We really encourage and want to see more of that behavior. And I think it led to this really fun experience where it almost felt an ARG [alternate reality game], ”Explained Morales.

Riot used the release of The Baddest to reinforce Seraphine’s love for K / DA. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAA”, she wrote in a tweet citing the track’s launch on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. Then, on September 4, the group announced on social media that Seraphine had been invited to collaborate on one of their songs. The implication is that K / DA ‘discovered’ her talent on social media like the public did. “We intend to show her this real-life Easter egg and we are glad that everyone has found her,” added Morales.

“We intend to show her this real-life Easter egg.”

That song became More. Seraphine’s part was sung by Chinese singer, rapper and songwriter Lexie Liu. At the time of writing, the official MV had more than 25 million views on YouTube. CG animation is handled by Axis Studios, a company that has worked on a lot League projects, as well Chernobyl and Gears 5of the campaign.


Fans praised both songs. One YouTube user referred to More as a “certified explorer”. Another said, “Never mind me. I came here just to see this as my daily religious habit ”. The pre-release singles also sparked excitement surrounding the band’s performance at the League of Legends World Championship in Shanghai. Riot Games has gradually built a reputation for offering concerts that combine virtual and physical performance. Hence, expectations are high for a K / DA real-world comeback.

But this year is different. The coronavirus pandemic devastated the live events industry and forced many tournaments, including Riot’s League of Legends Championship (LCS) in Los Angeles, to abandon live matches. For months, no one was sure if a traditional World Championship, which required teams from different continents to gather in one place, was possible. However, Riot Games blocked it with a series of measures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19. The games were originally held in a ‘XR’ studio that combined LED surfaces with 360-degree virtual environments that extended beyond the stage. The final, meanwhile, was held at Pudong Football Stadium with a small number of fans.

Riot has come up with several contingency plans in case the final format is changed at the last minute. “Plan A, B, C, D, E, F and G, you can go through the entire alphabet,” said Justin Restaino, a creative technology producer at Riot Games. He pointed to the XR studio, which used real-life performers to showcase different aspects of the stage, as an alternative to introducing the band. With a virtual act, at the very least, the company doesn’t have to worry about temporary visas and quarantine periods. “There’s really nothing to worry about including them on the show one way or another,” Restaino added.

Finally, the company was able to conclude its scheduled ceremony, which includes AR-backed K / DA performances. The champions are accompanied by a dance group on stage, but unlike 2018, there are no real-life vocalists. “We want them to be Beyonce on stage,” Restaino said. “We want them to be the focus.” To make the show more appealing, Riot has increased the number of possible camera feeds that can be combined with AR from 3 to 12. “It’s almost too much to work with and prepare in place,” Restaino to speak. But the team was ready for the challenge and wanted to create something truly memorable.

Unfortunately, K / DA’s performance was considered mostly a disappointment. Some feel that the models aren’t lifelike enough, and in a way a setback from the 2018 ceremony.

“Graphics like CS 1.6,” commented one YouTube user, referring to his version Fights back released in 2000. “This is really poorly done,” wrote another. “I’m really disappointed because this is what I was really looking forward to when they first announced it.” Others are not too harsh. They argue that it’s impressive that Riot can bring in something, anything, in the middle of a pandemic, regardless of whether a pandemic is happening in an actual location. One YouTube user wrote: “Cut their sagging.

“Everyone’s thoughts are valid,” Restaino said. “At Riot here, we’re so excited to have the opportunity to, this year, even try to watch the live show we did.” The innovative technology maker added: “Ultimately, when things might be lacking in some areas, we will always work to improve those in the coming years.”


Despite this setback, the excitement surrounding K / DA is bigger than ever. And for Riot, that has always been the goal. “Our main target is not revenue right now,” explains Dunn. “That’s not what we really focus on. It is really about the impact we can have. Like PopStars, maybe All go outIts popularity will encourage newbies to try out Riot’s video games. That’s why the company has prepared special K / DA themed events for League of LegendsIts automatic, spin-off Total fighting strategyand Hearthstone competitor Legend of Runeterra. In addition, the album may simply increase the number of audiences interested only in Riot as a music label.

Currently, the company remains secretly about its future plans. However, Dunn has confirmed that the group is working on a number of other music projects, and future releases won’t be limited to K / DA only. Riot’s ambition is to create a “prosperous musical universe,” he said, providing new points into the Comprehensive Alliance brand. “See this year as a look at our commitment to our passion for music creation and where that might go in the future,” added Morales. “This is definitely the first stop in what will ultimately be a long way from future releases.”

“Our main goal is not sales right now.”

A musical universe will help Riot achieve his ambitions of becoming a broader entertainment company. One thing that not only makes video games but also TV shows, table games and albums. “It’s not just about the game, it’s about the experiences we want to give our audience,” Morales said. These components can be subtly updated Leagueof the image, ensuring it never feels ‘out of date’ for the next generation of gamers. They can also become successful businesses of their own accord, reducing the company’s reliance on micro-transactions and esports sponsorship to make money.

“[Will music] Becoming an established revenue stream? Likely, if we do it well, ”suggested Dunn. “But we have to keep an eye on the award, and that’s really the creation of the K / DA. Who are they? And then start telling those stories, and figure out unique ways to do it. ”

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