I don’t get Linkin Park.
Please don’t take that in a snarky way, Linkin Park fans. They just came along at a time when — as happens to everybody — popular music had passed me by. My listening interests didn’t line up with FM Radio anymore, and Linkin Park was the first band that helped me realize it.
But this article isn’t about music. It’s about video games.
This may come as a bit of a surprise to most gamers, but over the last few years Linkin Park has released two playable extensions of their brand. What’s more, they keep dabbling in video game culture in new and unique ways.
I don’t get Linkin Park, and I don’t get what they’re doing in video games. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, either.
Here’s your crash course in recent Linkin Park video game history:
Linkin Park: 8-Bit Rebellion (2008)
It wouldn’t be fair to call 8-bit Rebellion a social network, but in a lot of ways, it’s as much that as it is a game. The first mobile game with the name ‘Linkin Park’ scrawled across the front, 8-bit Rebellion was equal parts side-scrolling brawler and chat room. If you’re looking to meet up with other LP fans while dressing your avatar in a funny hat, this is pretty much the only way we know how. Other than standing in line for tickets, of course.
Nominated for a Spike Video Game Award (2012)
No, 8-Bit Rebellion didn’t clean up in the “remember that time we made a mobile game?” category. Instead, they were nominated for something they do in their primary line of work: music. Their song Castle of Glass was featured in Medal of Honor: Warfighter. They didn’t win, though. The award went to the music Beck created for Sound Shapes, because BECK CREATED MUSIC FOR SOUND SHAPES.
LP Recharge – Wastelands (2013)
Launched into beta on Facebook last year, LP Recharge recently shuttered its web presence and made the jump to iPad. It’s a top-down action that mixes elemental attacks against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic future with robot slavemasters. So… Linkin Park? The use of the band’s license here feels a little forced, but hey – at least we know they’ve played it. BONUS: they used a collective player goal in the game as a way to launch the music video for their collaboration with Mike Shinoda, ‘A Light That Never Comes’.
They made a music video built entirely in Project Spark (2014)
Currently in beta as of this writing, Project Spark is a Windows/Xbox sandbox that lets users create just about anything they can put their mind to (or so says Microsoft’s PR team). In the case of Linkin Park, they used it to make an entire music video. And this isn’t just a video you can watch — it’s one you can play. Project Spark players can download the music video for ‘Guilty All the Same’ and mess around to their heart’s content.