1. August 2012–
Newtracks (office snap above) is still to release its first product, a social game for music fans styled as "Guitar Hero meets Farmville, but better". Most of the details are still under wraps but the general idea is for users to create avatars and form virtual bands with their friends on Facebook. The music industry will benefit, too – players will be able to buy songs and merchandise from their favourite artists from within the game.
The other investors in Newtracks' first funding round are Philipp Belter, Tilman Buggenhagen, Jörn Lubkoll and K-New Media investment manager Samuli Siren. Newtracks also secured a scholarship from the Berlin Brandenburg Mediaboard for its first game, due for release mid- or late August
Daniel Bock, Norbert Haacks and Roman Frank (pictured left to right, above) met studying game development in Berlin and founded Newtracks in 2011. The young startup is now a team of 13 people, and just moved into new offices on Schönhauser Allee (scene alert: they're throwing a party there tonight).
Exclusive preview – the next big thing?
Bock sent VentureVillage a few preview shots of the upcoming game (title TBC):
He admits the music industry can be a difficult one to crack for startups. "It's way tougher than I thought, when we started talking with majors and indies [record labels] and so forth," he says.
Luckily, having big record labels on board from the start is not crucial - players will be able to start using the upcoming game without them, which will help Newtracks build momentum for any later deals.
"And of course, games are hard," Bock adds - but he's confident the new game will be able to attract and retain users. "If you can manage to entertain people, it's cool."
He says the company's investors were attracted by the strength of the Newtracks team. "They like the team a lot – I also like my team a lot," he laughs.
That's about all we can say for now. Until the new game is released, we'll have to settle for fighting over who gets to be lead guitarist...