T.I. to star in hip-hop-themed MMO?

Those of us who are connoisseurs of rap music know that high-profile hip-hop stars have a tendency to flaunt their wealth, just a bit. Whether it’s cars, jewelry, or girls, they won’t hesitate to ‘make it rain’ with every opportunity. The most recent trend for big-name rappers has been to do videogames, because nothing says success like having one’s likeness recreated as a playable avatar. And platinum-selling rapper T.I. is no exception to the rule, even if he is locked up. Despite the fact he’s currently serving a one-year prison term for felony weapons charges, it hasn’t stopped T.I. from signing on with Austin-based indie developer Heatwave Interactive to appear in a new hip-hop MMORPG, according to Gamespot.

Dubbed Platinum Life, players will select a character class–such as rapper, singer, DJ, etc.–to follow in the footsteps of real-life artists like T.I. that are to be featured in the game. Players can form groups or go solo as they perform live shows and earn “fame” (i.e., experience points) in order to move up the food chain of the hip-hop world. Gameplay will feature rhythm minigames synched to hit songs, so basically, it’ll be like Guitar Hero. But if Heatwave is paying us attention, we hope they do the right thing and make the experience more akin to PaRappa the Rappa.

Heatwave is eyeing a Platinum Life launch for PC and presumably other platforms tentatively in 2011/2012. T.I. should be out on parole by then, so it’ll be interesting to see how this ambitious game progresses.