Gaming and music might have a symbiotic relationship, but it goes much further than just providing the soundtrack to some shoot ‘em up. The value of the rockstar has exploded in all areas of gaming from casinos to mobile and the big open-world adventures popular on Xbox and Playstation. Could this explain the enduring allure of the aging rockstar?
The casino scene is prolonging the touring potential of old-time rockers
Take KC & the Sunshine Band. Half of the 23 dates on their latest concert tour were at casinos. Casino venues are ideal tour stops according to lead singer Harry Wayne Casey, as most have a multitude of hotel rooms, restaurants, luxury facilities and of course the gaming tables themselves. “I try not to play for free,” he says.
In fact, regional casinos’ growth across the US has seen a number of states open Las Vegas-style resorts with the ability to hold concert performances. And this increased opportunity for musicians has given fans another chance to see their favorite stars of yesterday still performing like they were back then.
In recent years, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Kiss, Guns n Roses and even guitar legend Santana have all had residencies in Las Vegas-style casino resorts big and small across the US, not only prolonging their music legacy but thoroughly entertaining sell-out crowds.
The video slots phenomena
This gaming and rock connection goes one step further. There are a number of online gaming titles that use the enduring image and swagger of the rockstar to promote games. One quick look on the mobile slots at Lucky Pants Bingo and you can still find Ozzy Osbourne rocking the reels on the Ozzy Osbourne Video Slots where players get to grab their air guitars and rock out with the Prince of Darkness.
Then there is the Guns N’ Roses Video Slots with its epic soundtrack including Appetite for Destruction and Welcome to the Jungle. And of course the legendary Jimi Hendrix Online Slots will absolutely have you slamming the keyboard like it was 1975.
Gaming titles utilize the power of 80s and 90s rock legends
And it’s not just video slots that have kept rockers rocking either. Gaming fans will also have no doubt enjoyed the soundtrack of the Grand Theft Auto V and the Los Santos Rock Radio show hosted by Kenny Loggins featuring rock anthems from the likes of Queen, Steve Winwood, Def Leppard, Robert Plant, Stevie Nicks, Foreigner, The Cult, and the king of soft rock, Kenny himself.
One of the biggest console games ever to come out has to be Guitar Hero, which released three iterations of the game and couldn’t have existed without the music provided by some of the greatest rock stars ever.
Video games have always managed to utilize that heavy metal relationship within games. All the way back to Quake in the 1990s then featuring the powerful sound of Nine Inch Nails all the way to the 2016 reboot of Doom, Gods of War, Twisted Metal and Metal Gear Solid all trading off this unique guitar and metal-heavy theme that put gamers firmly in the hot seat.
There is certainly a strong argument for gaming, mobile-oriented slots and casino venues in keeping alive the aura of the rock star, aging or otherwise and it has, for many of them, meant an afterlife of performing that might otherwise not have been nearly so lucrative or readily available to them.