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New studio, Heatwave Interactive, to make hip-hop themed MMO
by Greg Mengel

Heatwave Interactive, a newbie game design company working out of Austin, Texas, recently struck a deal with rapper T.I to make a massive multiplayer game in which players will strive to "experience the fantasy of reaching the top of their game and becoming a superstar" in the competitive world of hip-hop, according to Heatwave's website.

The game, called Platinum Life, will give what I can only imagine is a realistic portrayal of moving up the hip-hop latter, yet, having never sold a platinum record or phat beat myself, or done cocaine on a personal jet, I can't be entirely certain.

Just about every way I think about it, I'm intrigued by this game. It's a cornucopia of possibilities. Will players record and show off their own tracks, like an interactive Youtube, or will a track list be provided, a la Rock Band or Guitar Hero? Will there be a mix of both? Will it be set in a specific city, or across the rap hubs of the world? Could that world be fictional?

Not much has been released about Platinum Life yet, but Anthony Castoro, the founder of the youngling Heatwave studios, has made it clear that he wants to provide a game that caters to the hardcore of the hip-hop community as well as the neophytes. In a statement released recently regarding the game, he revealed that "Our online game experience allows top-level artists to share their music, video and lifestyle with their huge fan bases in a personal and innovative way." That could mean so many things, but for fans of the hip-hop genre, it's got to look good.

It has also been revealed by Heatwave that the collector's edition of the game will come with a gold-chain, a life-size poster of T.I. to put on the ceiling above your bed, and a free handgun.

That last part about the collector's edition is obviously bull***t, but the rest is true. Overall, the game looks like a crazy new idea, and an interesting challenger for an MMO genre that has been dominated for the last few years by games with fantasy themes, like City of Heroes, or World of Warcraft.


PS - For those of you like me, who don't know who T.I. is, here's a video of him doing what he does best. The video opens with T.I. on the phone, counseling a friend who has just gotten a midget pregnant. I'm not kidding. Technically, the preferred term is little person, but T.I. used midget, so I'm going to use that here too.

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- Greg Mengel

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