He’s already a renowned artist, producer, fashion icon, and social good activist. Now, Pharrell Williams can add video game designer to his long list of accomplishments. That’s right, Williams, himself a video game nerd, debuted last week, a joint venture alongside denim brand G-Star and its Raw for the Ocean initiative. The game, “Battle For Big Blue,” will launch on Apple’s iTunes as well as the Google Play store, Mashable has exclusively learned.
Users will be able to play as the brand’s mascot, Otto the octopus, as he navigates through different ocean levels to collect plastic waste in the oceans. “What’s cool is that it is a game but it’s fun and it is educating people at the same time,” Williams told Mashable. The idea was formed six months ago when Williams says he had a brief conversation with G-Star about making a game that could organically involve people in an interactive way.
The company has already been at the forefront of proselytizing how dire ocean pollution has become. A combination of human actions is having increasingly destructive impacts on marine life, from overfishing to ocean acidification and plastic pollution. One study published earlier this year, for example, found that 90% of seabirds today have plastics in their stomach, and this may increase to 99% by 2050.
Pharrell Williams – Battle For Big Blue (15′)
Pharrell Williams – Battle For Big Blue II (15′)
G-Star’s Raw for the Oceans line incorporates ocean plastics into its fabrics to create denim and innovative fashions. “We can continue to raise awareness and put it in people’s minds to consider the oceans,” Williams says. “That will continue to evolve into change.” In conjunction with the Rumpus Room, G-star and Williams perfected the game to ensure that it was up to speed and made for an enjoyable experience. All of the music was produced by Williams while the technical development was left to the Rumpus Room.
“Instead of using traditional marketing where people tune out, we wanted to do something fun and have a community conversation to raise awareness for ocean plastic pollution,” says Shubhankar Ray, global brand director at G-Star, to Mashable. “In a digital world a game is appropriate for a brand like G-Star to create because fashion is now online and onscreen. The challenge now is bridging gaps between fashion and technology.”
We tested the game app and it’s pretty enjoyable — especially the smooth beats that are reminiscent of Williams’ signature Neptunes Tracks, which was what the producer was going for. “I was born in Norfolk and raised in Virginia Beach, living on the Atlantic Ocean in a neighborhood called Atlantis not far from Neptune Avenue,” he says. “Virginia Beach is always with me. So water has always been a theme in my life.” As for the game, you can play as a single player, challenge a friend, or even go head-to-head against Williams. Just be warned of his high score. “I just hit somewhere in the 3000’s on my second time,” he boasts. Download the Battle for Big Blue from iTunes HERE and Google Play HERE.