NEW YORK (AP) – When “Grand Theft Auto IV” debuts another downloadable episode later this month, there’ll be not only new story lines and characters, but also new music for the ride.
Busta Rhymes, Funkmaster Flex and others have been added to music stations on the radio dial in “The Lost and the Damned,” an episode that features hours of new content for the popular video game, which released the fourth part of its series to great fanfare – and sales – last year.
Rhymes is also debuting a new song, “Conglomerate,” exclusively for “Grand Theft Auto.”
Music supervisor Ivan Pavlovich said the featured songs are a key component of “Grand Theft Auto,” so they updated five of the radio stations in the game, including a hip-hop station and rock stations.
“Unlike movies, where you have a particular song that goes with a particular scene, what we do with the stations is really kind of allow each player to individualize how they want to play the game and how they set the tone,” he said.
To that end, they’ve enlisted DJ Funkmaster Flex to make a show for the game’s fictional Liberty City, which sits right outside of a New York-type metropolis. Rhymes’ music is not only featured on the Flex channel, he also is interviewed by Flex.
The station also gives the rapper a chance to promote his upcoming CD and music, and fans can purchase songs they tag during play later on iTunes.
“It kind of shows the reach of video games to influence people to buy music,” said Pavlovich. “That’s why it’s important for people like Busta, when they have new material. He is pushing an album in this. … That’s part of the whole thing that we do that’s really important to us, is turning people on to new music. “
The new episode of “Grand Theft Auto IV” will be available on Xbox Feb. 17.
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