More Details on Margaritaville Game

May 25th, 2011

The Hollywood Reporter has more details on the Margaritaville game for Facebook and iOS devices that will be out this fall:

THQ has partnered with Jimmy Buffett to bring Margaritaville Online to Facebook and iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) this fall, but attendees of E3 in Los Angeles will get a first look at the game. The casual online video game is targeting Buffett’s devoted followers, known as Parrotheads, along with the 45 million Facebook gamers who play FarmVille. Buffett, who is currently touring, will be at E3 at the THQ booth to promote the new game.

“The Margaritaville laidback state of mind is inherently social, and THQ has captured the spirit of that lifestyle in this game,” said Buffett. “With Margaritaville Online, fans across the globe can party together any time and any place.”

Developed by Exploding Barrel Games, the 3D open world features tropical environments and a full catalog of Buffett’s music. Players will be able to create their own island resort, play mini-games and interact with characters from Buffett’s songs and literary works including Captain Tony and Joe Merchant. They’ll even be able to create their own band.

Hollywood producer Frank Marshall is responsible for bringing Margaritaville to gamers, according to Danny Bilson, THQ’s executive vice president of core games. While THQ was developing games based on M. Night Shyamalin’s The Last Airbender, Marshall, who is close with Buffett, explained the vision of what has become Margaritaville Online to the game publisher.

“Frank Marshall is essentially one of the producers on the game,” said Bilson. “He and Jimmy work very closely with us on every element in the game. Everything in the game is based on ideas from the songs and books.”

Bilson said this Facebook game will stand out from games like Zynga’s CityVille because Margaritaville Online is an immersive 3D world. At the same time, it has all the great core tenets of a Facebook social game where players can build a unique island resort, embark on adventures and socialize with friends.

Tagged in Video Games

Margaritaville Game Coming to Facebook and iPad

May 24th, 2011

Looks like Jimmy planned to use that video game trademark after all.

USA Today has an article detailing Margaritaville Online, a social game that will be available on Facebook and iPad.

The musician is collaborating with game developer THQ on a free-to-play online social game, due this year on Facebook and Apple iPad, stocked with attractions custom-built for Buffett’s Parrothead following.

“You can build a boat (and) you can build a bar. You gotta evade the pirates. You can have adventures,” Buffett says. “You can go to Margaritaville.”

Like other online games, Margaritaville Online will let players earn virtual currency to buy in-game booty and spend real money to customize their game more quickly. Buffett hopes to incorporate a feature that lets players parlay virtual goods into rewards at Margaritaville restaurants. “If you buy virtual cheeseburgers and margaritas to send to friends, that should earn you a real burger or beer at a restaurant,” he says.

Over the years, the singer has been approached with all manner of online ventures. As Margaritaville grew into a multibillion-dollar business of its own with more than a dozen restaurants and hotels, as well as food, beer and liquor products, Buffett “carefully lifeguarded” it as an entertainment property.

Online social games became “the next new, new thing,” Buffett says, but he waited “for the right time to come along and somebody who knows about (Margaritaville) and is a fan and who gets it. That is exactly what happened.”

Characters and destinations in Buffett’s game are based on his life, songs and books. There’s a Captain Tony’s Boats and Planes outpost, based on the late former Key West mayor — chronicled in the song Last Mango in Paris— as well as Joe Merchant’s Trading Post, a nod to his 1992 book Where is Joe Merchant? “They were fans, and what they put into it was exactly what you would think,” Buffett says.

Now on tour, Buffett remains involved in the development. “They come up with storyboards and lines, and I see the process. Then, I do what I do: Buffettizing. When I got the first ones and saw the characters drawn, I got to go to Margaritaville.”

Social games have become natural stages for musical stars. Last week, Lady Gaga launched a limited-edition destination in FarmVille, where players got an early listen to her new album. Last year, Dr. Dre brought his music to Mafia Wars, and Kiss brought a live concert audiocast and makeup-wearing avatars to Nightclub City. “It’s like in the old days, when you had a host of touring acts and you could see a lot of people out there,” Buffett says.

Margaritaville Online will draw more than Parrotheads, says Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global. “Say ‘Margaritaville’ and it instantly paints a picture,” he says. The name “stands out in a crowded field, when you can choose between Café World, Restaurant City and Treasure Isle. It may turn into the interactive equivalent of the virtual watering hole.”

Buffett’s music is in the game, and players can create their own band. Eventually, he hopes to let players input performances into tracks to identify the ultimate Coral Reefer cover band.

In the future, Buffett foresees Parrotheads at his concerts “in a parking lot, tailgating, having a beer, grilling a dog and playing Margaritaville on their iPhones or on their Blackberrys waiting to get into the real show.”

See screenshots of the game here.

Tagged in Video Games

Buffett Ends Frisco Show with a Gem

May 22nd, 2011

After close to two full days of tailgating for many Texas fans, Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band took the stage Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco.

The set list was similar to recent shows, besides one notable exception: Buffett’s final encore was “Livingston’s Gone to Texas,” a song that hasn’t been performed live since 1974 or ’75.

View the full set list here.

The tour continues Tuesday in Atlanta, then Thursday in Virginia Beach, and a Saturday show in Nashville.

View the full tour schedule here and get your tickets now!

Tagged in Show Reviews

Frisco Becomes Fin Land Tonight

May 21st, 2011

The party in the parking lot has already been going for nearly 24 hours, and tonight Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will take the stage at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

Listen to the show live on Radio Margaritaville on Sirius/XM 24 or on the web at radiomargaritaville.com. Jimmy will take the stage shortly after 8 pm CT.

Frisco kicks off the late-May leg of the tour. On Tuesday, Jimmy hits Atlanta, then Virginia Beach on Thursday and Nashville on Saturday.

View the full tour schedule here and get your tickets now!

Tagged in Tickets, Touring

Photos from Landshark Bar & Grill Opening

May 20th, 2011

Jimmy Buffett’s Landshark Bar & Grill opened today in Myrtle Beach. Here are a couple of photos from the ribbon-cutting:

(hat tip Sawman71)

Tagged in Business Empire