Space Ape doubles down on ‘neglected’ players with next launch Country Star


Space Ape’s next global launch is Country Star, a second major release for the firm this year after Chrome Valley Customs.

Pre-registration has just gone live on Google Play and the App Store, with a global launch expected “soon”, studio boss Simon Hade told us.

Country Star is a genre-specific Beatstar spin-off created for what Space Ape believes is an underserved audience. “It’s a similar thesis to Chrome Valley Customs – this is an audience that’s almost entirely neglected from a gaming point of view,” said Hade.

“Our theory is that there’s this massive pent-up demand for country music and everything around it. Country music fans tend to spend more on concert tickets, buy more merch and they’re much more invested in the artist. We feel like internationally we can kind of aggregate that demand.”

Country Star could inspire more genre-based Beatstar spin-offs, says Hade.

“It’s kind of no coincidence that we’re doing these two games around the same time because I think there’s a lot of brand awareness that’ll come to a certain type of person in the US around Space Ape games,” he continued. “That will help both games feed off each other.”

If Country Star is deemed a success, other genre-specific spins on the Beatstar formula are a possibility too, says Hade. “I don’t know yet whether we’re going to be launching more genre SKUs like this…my theory is that if it’s going to work for anything, it’s going to work for country – so we’re going to lean into that and see how that goes. It might be that there are other categories of music that maybe need some gameplay changes to work.”

From June: ‘Chrome Valley Customs to go global as Space Ape targets games for under-served players

Country Star players will be strumming and plucking guitar strings rather than matching beats, playing along to the likes of Shania Twain, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton plus up-and-coming country music talent.

“It leans into the musicality of country music and it’s way more artist-centric,” adds Hade. “We did this ‘country month’ in Beatstar at the end of last year to test the waters and that proved there was this huge demand for it. 50 million people will listen to country music this month in the US…it’s the second biggest genre in the US after hip-hop. It’s massive and it’s underserved.”

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