HomeUncategorizedInside the Ambitious Quest to License Daft Punk's Music for "Beat Saber"

Inside the Ambitious Quest to License Daft Punk's Music for "Beat Saber"



Meta Quest gamers are experiencing a whole new level of “Digital Love” after Daft Punk‘s music joined the illusory realms of Beat Saber.

From the iconic vocals of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” to the ageless melodies of “One More Time,” Daft Punk have finally sliced their way into the beloved VR rhythm game. The legendary robots were “hands-down one of the most requested artists from fans to add to the Beat Saber lineup,” per Meta.

The ambitious effort to activate Daft Punk in Beat Saber took over two years, according to Vickie Nauman, founder of the Los Angeles-based consultancy and advisory firm CrossBorderWorks.

“The collaborative effort was between Beat Saber core team, Warner Music in London and Daft Punk crew,” Nauman tells EDM.com. “This probably involved 10 main people across the three parties over more than two years and it included a lot of back-and-forth about which songs Beat Saber wanted in the game, the music rights involved, and what songs the artists wanted.”

Nauman has worked with the title’s developer, Beat Games, to execute the company’s licensing deals since its early days as an independent gaming studio in Prague, a role in which she remained after Facebook (now Meta) acquired the studio in 2019.

“As a rhythm game, Beat Saber has specific requirements for what will work in the game and our beatmapping process led to some last-minute changes, but everyone was very accommodating as we all wanted it to happen,” she continued. “We’ve wanted Daft Punk in the game since the game started in 2018! Then the band broke up and we thought there was no hope until the Warner UK team rekindled the idea. A real multi-team effort.”

A collaboration between Daft Punk and Beat Saber had been a latent dream, but the pie was never in the sky. Tim Miles, Warner Music Group’s Senior Vice President, Sync, tells us his team had an unwavering belief that there was a “genuine and authentic fit” between the two, but the timing needed to be right.

The stars aligned in 2022, when they were brainstorming for the 25th anniversary of Daft Punk’s influential Homework and Alive 97 albums. It felt like the perfect time, Miles said, to leverage their relationship with Meta.

“After working on other gaming projects with The Pokemon Company and Ubisoft, we were incredibly sensitive to the vast amount of time and resources it takes to create gameplay—and in the case of Beat Saber, beat-matching the visuals to the music,” Miles explains. “With this in mind, we were extremely thoughtful about what the experience would be for fans and this is why it’s the first Beat Saber pack to include live versions of songs and the graphics during the game. The pack also showcases Daft Punk’s iconic helmet, which isn’t a million miles away from what the Meta Oculus VR headset looks like, so clearly it was meant to be!”

Available as of March 7th, the official Daft Punk Music Pack is somewhat of a watershed moment for Beat Saber. The release has led to the game’s first-ever live tracks and mashups as well as its longest song, “The Prime Time of Your Life (Live 2007).” That record clocks in at 10 minutes and 23 seconds, dethroning Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” and building forearm muscles everywhere.

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The developers at Beat Games didn’t stop there. With the pack comes a new in-game environment inspired by Daft Punk’s fabled pyramid stage, on which they performed their totemic Coachella set back in 2006.

It all paints a picture of a paradigm shift in the way music is licensed for games. The technological terra firma beneath gaming’s feet is growing at a rapid pace, empowering developers to transcend the constraints of music alone and use it to build multi-sensory dreamscapes.

Miles believes we’re seeing a broader scope of music’s capacity for storytelling to enhance the gaming experience. The upshot, he says, is a “huge opportunity” for artists and writers.

“Traditionally music in games would be used as a part of an in-game radio—look at GTA or Far Cry for example,” Miles explains. “We also had great success with karaoke and rhythm games, like Guitar Hero and WeSing, back when they were en vogue. Nowadays though, the space has evolved to include opportunities for artists to score and create songs for triple-AAA games and fit straight into the game’s narrative. For example, we worked with Stormzy for Watch Dogs: Legion in the form of bespoke DLC, and Ed Sheeran for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet where Ed’s ‘Celestial’ plays on completion of the game.”

“Gaming is definitely an alternative channel for music consumption, and how artists and developers engage with it is still in its infancy,” he continues. “The exciting part is the number of opportunities are increasing, developers are becoming braver and more agile and record labels like Warner are leaning into the space with an open mind. The process is also similar to how we place our artist’s music across Film and TV, and how we work with top-tier Hollywood productions.”

Beat Saber players can secure the Daft Punk Music Pack for $12.99 or purchase individual tracks for $1.99 each. New Meta Quest owners who want to add the game can bundle it with the pack for $39.99.



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