Why stop at just gamifying fitness with a leaderboard? Peloton is literally adding games to its repertoire today as it launches Lanebreak, which the company calls its “first gaming-inspired experience.”
Lanebreak falls into the genre of music-centric rhythm games, like virtual reality favorite “Beatsaber” or the classic “Guitar Hero.” But on a game like “Guitar Hero,” the musical notes correspond with with frets on a guitar — on Lanebreak, you’re biking along a multi-lane track. To navigate between lanes, riders adjust the resistance knob, which moves the wheel left or right. So, a particularly challenging workout might lead you to the higher-resistance lanes on the right side of the screen.
Peloton riders can chose from playlists like “Pop Essentials” with David Guetta, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, as well as “David Bowie Remixes,” featuring St. Vincent, TokiMontsa and Honey Dijon. Unlike typical Peloton workouts, there’s no coach guiding you along.
“The way the cues and movement perfectly match the music is one of my favorite aspects of it,” said Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell in a press release. “It’s also a great addition to our instructor-led classes. I know some days you need that butt-kicking inspiration from one of us instructors, and other days you just want to ride to some killer music without an instructor. I get it. Now you can have both!”
Peloton first teased Lanebreak in July, but given the slew of challenges facing the at-home fitness company, it seems like a good time to give subscribers a shiny, new experience.
Peloton boomed during the pandemic as gyms closed and lockdowns rendered us homebound. But the company has had a rocky year thus far. In January, Peloton paused bike and treadmill production due to slowed demand. Weeks later, the company laid off 2,800 employees, about 20% of its corporate workforce. At the same time, Peloton CEO John Foley stepped down as CEO ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report.
This feature alone probably won’t be enough to encourage someone to buy an expensive bike and pay for a Peloton membership. But other at-home fitness-tech products have seen success with these rhythm game-inspired workouts. Supernatural — created by Within, which was recently acquired by Meta (pending FTC approval) — also invites users to do boxing and dance workouts to the beat of licensed music, all in virtual reality.
Peloton said that it will continue developing more mechanics and challenges to Lanebreak in the coming months. Lanebreak is now available to All-Access Members on the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+.