Shawn Layden, former CEO and Chairman of Sony-owned gaming giant PlayStation, has joined the board of directors of PlusMusic.ai, a startup that specializes in adaptive audio AI for the gaming industry.
The appointment brings Layden’s experience and leadership from his tenure at Sony Interactive Entertainment to PlusMusic.ai, where he joins Ty Roberts, founder of entertainment data platform Gracenote, on the board.
PlusMusic.ai has several patents in the fields of music and electronic entertainment.
During his time at Sony, Layden held key positions such as Chairman of Worldwide Studios and President of Sony Computer Entertainment America, establishing himself as a prominent figure in the gaming industry.
Commenting on his appointment, Layden said: “I’m proud to say that I have accepted a board position with an exciting new start-up, PlusMusic.ai. Their proprietary adaptive audio AI provides a remarkable solution for game developers to create AAA soundtracks at indie game budgets.”
“It also brings the growing game development scene a direct access to new and broad-ranging music catalogs and the musicians who make them. Gaming and music have always been kindred spirits, and with PlusMusic they can meld their worlds ever closer,” Layden added.
“I’m proud to say that I have accepted a board position with an exciting new start-up, PlusMusic.ai. Their proprietary adaptive audio AI provides a remarkable solution for game developers to create AAA soundtracks at indie game budgets.”
Shawn Layden, PlusMusic.ai
PlusMusic.ai CEO Nick Venti added: “We are absolutely delighted to have Shawn on board as we continue to develop our core product, which acts as a co-pilot for developers creating soundtracks. His wealth of experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm will be invaluable in shaping our vision and driving PlusMusic’s growth. We can’t wait to see how our collaboration will elevate the gaming and music landscape.”
PlusMusic.ai claims that its Adaptive Audio AI technology helps transform audio experiences in gaming, user-generated content, and the metaverse. It integrates a library of 375,000 songs into popular game engines such as Unreal and Unity.
The company is backed by gaming investors Play Ventures and an Epic MegaGrant.
Epic MegaGrant is a financial initiative established by Unreal Engine maker and Fortnite developer Epic Games to support individuals, teams and startups that contribute to the advancement of the digital entertainment industry.
Layden’s appointment comes as music industry veterans recognize the potential for collaboration in the intersection of music and gaming.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz in 2021, Layden said: “Music on a revenue basis is probably one fifth of the games space. But their cultural impact is 100x what gaming is.”
Elsewhere in the gaming and music space, UK-born Reactional Music, has developed patented technology that allows real-time personalization of soundtracks and music during gameplay.
Over a month ago, Reactional Music closed a $2.05 million Pre-Series A funding round led by mobile music games publisher Amanotes, and early-stage VC Butterfly Ventures, based in the Nordics.
Reactional claims to have deals with multiple rightsholders and has recently completed music rights agreements with music rights holders including Hipgnosis Song Management.
Separately, Activision Blizzard, the developer of hit gaming franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush, filed a patent for a technology that creates AI-generated personalized music for players within a video game.
Activision is nearing a buyout by Microsoft in a $68.7 billion deal. The merger, which was blocked by the UK, recently gained approval from European Union regulators.
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