Tag Archives: Guitar Hero

Second Opinion: Music Game Sales are Hitting a Saturation Point

you can't be serious

Woh woh woh woh, easy there killer!

You just woke up PNG’s sleeping giant by stepping into my territory.  Never have I seen something on this site that I have taken more umbrage with than your article Dave.  Nothing personal, but I can’t let this article go without ripping it into tiny pieces.

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Music Game Sales are hitting a saturation point

If this chart was an equalizer, then both games would have had their volume turned way down

It was bound to happen at some point, and today Gamasutra posted declining sales figures for the two biggest music based games out there… Guitar Hero and Rock Band.  Sales on the two big games are down 49% for the year and while those numbers are to be expected at some point, this seems to be the hardest year for MTV/EA Games and Activision.

Considering this is the biggest year for Guitar Hero so far with around 6 releases ( GH: Metallica, GH: Van Halen, GH: Smash Hits, GH: 5, Band Hero, and DJ Hero), and Rock Band with around 6 releases ( RB Track Pack: Classic Rock, RB Track Pack 2, RB Track Pack Country, RB: Beatles, RB: Unplugged for PSP, and RB: Lego Rock Band), there has never been more content for these games.  So why the declining sales figures?  I think it’s pretty safe to say that in this case more content is not whats going to save this genre, or these franchises.

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The Fate of The Beatles: Rock Band in a post-Guitar Hero 5 world


When THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND was announced, I was excited.  I like the Beatles.  My wife and I sing almost nothing but Beatles tunes to our 8-month-old son.

Then it slowly sank in.

“Wait a second.  The Beatles were a pop band.”

The more and more I thought about it, I realized that this game wasn’t going to be very challenging in terms of its song selection.  I mean, let’s face it, the Fab Four hasn’t been melting any faces.

Think of all the songs you’ve loved to play on all of the GUITAR HERO and ROCK BAND games.  They are almost always songs that are on the harder side.  Songs that challenge you and push you to play it one more time and then one more time because you finally nailed that one lick during the 17th solo in “Through the Fire and Flames” or “Peace Sells.”  Where are those types songs on THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND?  How often are you actually going to play a game that doesn’t push you?  The addition of harmonious backgound vocals isn’t enough for me to go back for more.

Another thing that I immediately thought was, “Who are they making this for?”  I remember way back, reading and posting on message boards, about the songs we would like to see in the new GUITAR HERO or ROCK BAND.  The Beatles were seldomly mentioned.  It was almost always hard rock and metal acts.

I will admit that I am much more partial to the ROCK BAND franchise.  For me, it is a better “simulator” than the GUITAR HERO franchise.  More often than not, it seems that GH songs are made tough for the sake of being tough,  while RB songs seem to be a more accurate depiction of actual guitar playing.

The release of THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND seems to be leveling the playing field for me.  GUITAR HERO 5 seems to be moving in the direction that the ROCK BAND franchise should have moved in with two new modes, RockFest and PartyPlay.  These will give freshness to the multiplayer that we all had a blast with on ROCK BAND.

Which makes me think that we should be getting ready for the release of ROCK BAND 3 with a new set of songs and new features, not THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND.  Neversoft/Activision never released an artist-specific title agains a new installment of another rhythm game.  A wise choice, in my opinion.  Those games were there to hold us over until a new game and get us to keep buying the games.

I can appreciate the fact that I am still getting quality games and DLC from both franchises, but I have to say that Neversoft is doing more to get my attention with their next game. Will BEATLES still sell a ton and does it look pretty?  Absolutely.  Will GUITAR HERO have enough to unseat ROCK BAND as the party favorite?  I think so.