osu!history: Featured Artists

osu!history: Featured Artists

Hello and welcome to osu!history, the series
that aims to capture some of the great historical moments of osu as well as notable changes
within the game and community and put them into bite-sized pieces of content for your
enjoyment. Today we will be looking at the history of
the featured artist initiative and I’ll be covering how and why it was created, as
well as it’s progression through the years. osu! has always operated in a gray area of
copyright law regarding the music, with users basically pirating mp3’s of songs accompanied
by a beatmap file, but peppy always had the idea of licencing and having original music
in the game. However, purchasing licenses for music was
expensive and in the early days of osu peppy wasn’t earning enough money to be able to
afford them, but peppy and the dev team were determined to change that. So in 2012 they did, and it wasn’t even
done for the original game. Osu!stream is a version of osu! built from
scratch that was made for touch devices, and it included some original mechanics that weren’t
in the PC version of the game. The app was released for iOS, and while there
were plans to release it on Android too, that unfortunately never happened. Besides from osu!stream having different mechanics
and only being on mobile, the gameplay worked pretty much the same, but the mobile version
had a huge drawback. There weren’t enough maps and the maps that
were there had to be specifically made for osu!stream, and the PC maps weren’t compatible
with the app, so you couldn’t play them either. Another issue was that since osu! pirated
a lot of it’s music through the beatmap files, peppy could only use the music that
he had the rights to, which led to a much smaller map pool with only a few artists including
Natteke, Nekodex and tieff. And that’s where the whole idea of licencing
music came from, from a necessity to have a bigger variety of artists on osu!stream. Peppy ended up working with a lot of doujin
and non-doujin artists such as OK Go, Cranky, Souleye, SHIKI etc. and eventually released
more maps as DLC on the app store that went for 99 cents each. After testing the waters with licencing music
in 2012 and him thinking of creating a fake record label for osu, peppy switched focus
from osu!stream and back to the main game and no artists were licenced again for osu!stream,
leaving the game dead in the water a year after it’s launch. 4 years later in 2016, peppy held a remix
contest which also had the first few components of the new featured artist system such as
the track player etc. The remix contest had contestants remix the
main menu theme song in hopes of winning prizes such as credit for the osu store, a profile
badge, their remix featured in the game and a beatmap contest dedicated to their remix. After the remix contest ended Ephemeral announced
his new project, the “Featured Artist Initiative” and welcomed “yuki.” as the first new
featured artist as well as including everyone who made music for osu in the past in the
initiative as well. This was the first time something like this
happened as previously the music was either made in-house or commissioned. One example of that would be IAHN’s “Transform”
which was commissioned for the second edition of the Aspire mapping contest. Having Featured Artists was a huge move for
osu! as it meant that osu! now had its own original music that was either made for osu
or had the rights to it, slowly fighting the piracy problem. By the end of the year we would see amazing
artists such as sakuraburst, thaehan, yuki and others become featured artists, with multiple
of their songs now being free to download for anyone who wanted to map their music and
we would see the featured artists’ catalogs of usable songs increase over time. Every year there would be around 10 new artists
added to the growing pool of featured artists, enabling map creators to map their music without
fears of having their maps DMCA claimed. In mid 2017 the mappers’ guild was created
and mappers with 3 or more ranked maps could join it. Mappers’ guild is a group dedicated to mapping
songs from Featured Artists and you can earn points while collaborating with other mapper
guildies and earn 3 different tiers of profile badges all while helping the Featured Artists’
music be heard throughout the osu! community. The first project that the mappers’ guild
was working on was the Motoloid featured artist releases, with them having insider information
months ahead of the release so they could properly prepare maps for release, and that
trend would continue ever since that. As of July of 2019, osu! officially has over
a 1000 tracks available for any mapper to use and distribute legally, and Ephemeral
(with Shiro’s help) mostly focuses on getting rights to songs that are already popular and
mapped on osu, as well as finding artists with styles that would work very well for
the game. Peppy plans to bring much more attention to
featured artists when Lazer releases on PC and mobile devices by bringing more attention
to the maps made with their music, hopefully avoiding any copyright issues in the future. Some notable additions over the years into
the featured artist initiative would be Camellia, Virtual Self, Imperial Circus Dead Decadence,
sakuraburst, helblinde, namirin etc.


  • Mercury 428 says:

    Video je super, nastavi >_<

  • Lime says:

    In the bottom paragraph of this featured artist reveal, pishifat also says that they'll be temporarily adding 3 new featured artists every month from now, so it seems like there will be no shortage of new additions. not sure if you knew about this while making the video, but thought i'd point it out since it's relevant.

  • 2127 says:

    Totally made this video in time…. Don't worry about it. As always thanks for the support 🙂 (I'll probably do my face reveal video this week as a special upload)

  • BowserLover says:

    i guess im first

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