Deadmau5 & Niantic Developing Planet-Scale Music Metaverse

Gaming platform PIXELYNX partners with Niantic to create Pokémon Go-like collectible music experience 

PIXELYNX, a gaming venture created by DJ/producer Joel Zimmerman (aka deadmau5) in partnership with Richie Hawtin, is teaming up with gaming industry pioneers Ben Turner, Dean Wilson, and Inder Phull to create an industry-first planet-scale AR music game in partnership with Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO, Ingress, Pikmin Bloom, and upcoming Transformers Heavy Metal.

PIXELYNX will leverage Niantic’s Lightship Platform and the Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK), which empowers developers to create engaging AR experiences that inspire movement, exploration, and connection at a global scale, to develop a mobile app version of their new gaming platform.

PIXELYNX is creating a new virtual world ecosystem that makes it easy for music artists to launch their own interactive environments that can be monetized using NFTs, playable experiences, and virtual performances. Players can collect new songs, prizes, and in-game assets just by playing the game. Through their partnership with Niantic, fans will be able to explore the real world, attend concerts, and visit physical locations to collect NFTs that can be used in-game to unlock additional rewards and music. 


This past week, I was fortunate enough to host a fireside chat series called Empowering Creators in Mixed Worlds featuring Inder Phull, CEO of PIXELYNX, during which he shared his perspective on PIXELYNX, their work with Niantic, and what’s ahead for the future of gamified virtual worlds. 

As the worlds of music, fashion, art, culture and gaming collide, Phull discusses how PIXELYNX was influenced and formed: “Working in the middle of music, entertainment and interactivity in general, one thing was pretty clear, gaming is going to consume most of these cultures, ideas of gamification, game mechanics in general are going to become more and more relevant in every part of our lives,” adding, “We can see it from little things how Fitbit keeps you inspired and wants you to keep chasing up the leaderboard. These concepts were super interesting to us and the foundation that gaming is going to represent the future of entertainment.”

PIXELYNX started to explore the question: ”What would it look like if music existed within gaming?” Phull stated, “We start exploring that as a tangent, what would that look like if music was to exist within gaming? At the moment it is not scalable enough to create a gaming strategy for most artists, it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time to develop assets and most teams don’t have the knowledge in-house. How can we democratize that process and make gaming more accessible for the music industry and naturally fashion ties into that with skins and everything that we are doing.” 

Image Credit: PIXELYNX


PIXELYNX is empowering creators through their powerhouse platform, which serves as a springboard to evolve creativity and music in gamified virtual worlds. 

“We see it as a new canvas for art to go to a new level – the ability to create in the context of a virtual world can change the way music is consumed. It is exciting and what will this canvas mean for the future of music, and how bands and fans will engage with it,” stated Phull.

“We are creating a platform – any artist can launch their virtual world in our ecosystem, think of it as a NETFLIX or Spotify for the metaverse packed with 3d virtual experiences where they can have communities, NFTs, concerts and physical merchandise, the next phase of an artist website but all consolidated in a space with different audiences discovering, engaging with music and crossing over,.”

Image Credit: PIXELYNX

Will virtual concerts replace physician concerts? According to Phull, “We always felt that physical is so important to music, virtual concerts won’t get rid of live shows so how can we connect the dots between the physical world and the digital world?” 

When players attend physical shows, they are able to unlock NFTs and in-game assets using the AR tool, everything they collect into the real world can be used in the core game.

Built using the recently-announced Niantic Lightship platform, the PIXELYNX gaming experience allows artists to easily plant digital content throughout the real-world. When participating artists release a track, players can explore their real-world environment to unlock exclusive content, such as music, skins, and concert tickets. Artists can author the content similar to assets on Spotify. The platform employs a variety of machine learning techniques that enable creators to extend their existing assets and content through the metaverse. 


PIXELYNX Labs is an incubator program that will provide developers with the funding, celebrity IP, advisors, products, and technology needed to succeed.

Image Credit: PIXELYNX


“As we look towards launching our platform in 2022, the development of a mobile app that allows fans to collect new songs and NFTs in the real world was always part of our vision to create the music metaverse,” said Inder Phull, CEO and co-founder of PIXELYNX.  “Teaming with Niantic on their Lightship ARDK to develop our mobile gaming app, will ensure that fans are able to take our game with them wherever they go, blending digital and real world experiences and enriching the fan experience in completely unique ways.”  

Expect a flurry of exciting 3D NFTs with a playable experience launching to the public in Q1. Hopefully, this new platform can empower artists to extend their music in unimaginable ways, giving players the opportunity to discover, unlock, and explore emerging music in new ways across the planet.

Feature Image Credit: PIXELYNX

About the Scout

Valerie Vacante

Val Vacante is the Director of Strategy for global customer experience agency, Merkle, a dentsu company, where she uncovers cultural trends, designs strategies, and next-generation innovations. Val is also the Founder of strategy and innovation firm Collabsco. Val has pioneered digital products and integrated marketing experiences across digital platforms, connected communities, IoT, and extended reality experiences for Fortune 100 brands and up-and-coming startups. Named Top 25 Women in Tech, 40/ Forty, and Top 10 Pioneering CEOs to Follow, she serves on the SXSW Innovation Advisory Board, MassChallenge Expert, an international speaker, and writer. You can likely find her at arcades, museums, tech incubators, and almost anywhere creators are designing the future.

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