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Music Game Genre On the Decline

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the wait-until-theremin-hero-comes-out-for-natal dept.

Music 225

After enjoying several years of popularity, music games seem to be drawing less and less interest from gamers lately. Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles have been conspicuously absent from a list of the 20 best-selling software titles in the past two months, and one report estimates that revenue from those games has dropped by almost half. Analyst Jesse Divnich suggests that there's no longer much room for dramatic improvements in game play, saying, "it would be erroneous to assume that any franchise or brand can grow unless it brings something new to the table. After a while, utility to the gamer will diminish and he/she will surely move on." Nevertheless, the companies are happy to continue to rely on DLC sales while working on new releases. Harmonix is showing off a trailer and a partial set list for The Beatles: Rock Band, and Neversoft has detailed a number of new features and tracks for Guitar Hero 5.

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225 comments

Bagpipe Hero? (4, Funny)

starglider29a (719559) | about 5 years ago | (#28783829)

Should I stop development of Bagpipe Hero? I JUST got the rights from AC/DC for "It's a Long Way to the Top (If you wanna rock and roll)"

Re:Bagpipe Hero? (1)

diskofish (1037768) | about 5 years ago | (#28784215)

Should I stop development of Bagpipe Hero? I JUST got the rights from AC/DC for "It's a Long Way to the Top (If you wanna rock and roll)"

Have you tried harmonica hero yet? It's fantastic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vBfzPfOq2I [youtube.com]

Re:Bagpipe Hero? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 years ago | (#28784343)

Am I the only one who read this and though of harmonium [wiibrew.org] ?

Re:Bagpipe Hero? (4, Informative)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | about 5 years ago | (#28784303)

Way to rip off The Onion [theonion.com] .

Re:Bagpipe Hero? (1)

Darth (29071) | about 5 years ago | (#28784605)

you should use the Dropkick Murphys cover of it.

Re:Bagpipe Hero? (1)

fprintf (82740) | about 5 years ago | (#28784839)

Maybe you are joking but there is a sizeable facebook group (or which I am a member) dedicated to finding out how to make a bagpipe hero. The controllers are several hundred dollars right now and the software is not yet written, but there are lots of us out here.

I love guitar hero, but would love bagpipe hero a whole lot better!

Serious music games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28783841)

IIDX, POPN, DDR, PIU, ITG2 are still and will continue to go on strong

Re:Serious music games (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784121)

"Serious" must mean "selling extremely poorly compared to Rock Band and Guitar Hero."

I love DDR but gimme a break, you can't really say that the lawsuits and discontinuation of DDR from arcades counts as "going strong." Or that any of those DDR games have ever come close to touching Rock Band's popularity outside of an increasingly small niche audience.

Re:Serious music games (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784205)

America isn't the only country.

Juris-my-diction? Read the article. (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28784473)

In the article [gamasutra.com] , Matt Matthews at Gamasutra wrote:

Gamasutra has discovered that U.S. Guitar Hero/Rock Band revenues are down 49% year on year, as discounted hardware and over 20 SKUs flood the market.

Anonymous Coward wrote:

America isn't the only country.

The article is about sales in the United States.

New features? (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | about 5 years ago | (#28783843)

Their new feature? "Challenges" aka achievements...

And as usual... (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 5 years ago | (#28783857)

Some innovative company will emerge with a new concept nobody's thought about, and we'll be hooked on that for a while.

There is no "perfection". There are only new concepts, and there's an unlimited supply of them.

Re:And as usual... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#28784971)

I still like Ms. Pac-Man. If ever a perfect arcade game was designed, this is it. It's challenging but not so hard as to scare people off. It's easy to learn and plays fair (no rubberbanding like those cheating race games). And it has cool neon vsuals and otherworldy sound effects that draw the player into a world different from our own.

Runnerups - Space Invaders, Missile Command, DDR

/.'ed (1)

bdrees (1015815) | about 5 years ago | (#28783875)

the link to destructoid got destroyed.
Anyone know what the "Number of New Features" is?

Bittorrent is to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28783899)

They made the mistake of shipping the most recent version of Guitar Hero with a bittorrent client.

Too much cost... (4, Insightful)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 5 years ago | (#28783901)

It doesn't help that the controllers cost an arm and a leg. In tough economic times, if I have to choose between 3 or 4 games and one game with it's proprietary controllers....guess what, I'm getting the former.

Re:Too much cost... (2, Informative)

joocemann (1273720) | about 5 years ago | (#28784235)

I agree. You know what I saw, though? Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for $20 on sale at KMART!. Thats a full real quality GH guitar for 20 bucks plus you get w/e crapola Aerosmith songs come with it (please don't think I'm some Aerosmith fan troll, it is just kinda obvious that most people share my same opinion of their music since it was $20).

But, yes. Given a choice, I'd rather buy a new game than a second guitar, or a replacement guitar since it seems to wear out much sooner than expected when people are reeming songs on expert with it.

Re:Too much cost... (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | about 5 years ago | (#28784245)

The controllers are a barrier to entry to the genre to begin with, but after that you already have them so they don't enter into the equation. Personally, I don't like that they charge full new game prices (40 or 50 bucks a pop without the controllers) for new versions of the games when those new versions are essentially the exact same game with some new songs. I don't know how much more innovative they can get with the gameplay aspect, but charging a bunch of money for what should be an add-on pack just seems like they're milking the franchise for all it's worth, which can be a turnoff to consumers.

Re:Too much cost... (1)

qoncept (599709) | about 5 years ago | (#28784393)

Buying the new version of the game is a much cheaper way to get a boatload of songs than buying "add-on pack" DLC. Downloading a song is $2+, while you can get a game with 80 songs for $60 new. And the controller prices really aren't that unreasonable. $30 for a guitar controller? What does a wireless Xbox 360 controller go for?

I'm assuming, with DLC, they're making plenty of money. I'd guess the profit margins on the controllers are modest at best.

Re:Too much cost... (1)

hezekiah957 (1219288) | about 5 years ago | (#28784543)

I clicked on this article, saw GP, logged in, and saw parent. Just what I was going to say. At 60 bucks for 80+ songs, that's about* as good as you're likely to find. *You can get 55 songs off the original Rock Band disc for $5

Re:Too much cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784553)

doesn't that assume then that all of those 80 songs are new and now in your previous game? Isn't there pretty much a guarantee that perhaps 25-50% of those songs are being brought over to the new game? Honestly the best direction these can go are to let you bring in songs from MP3 and then define your own notes and chords (rather than the crappy version they put in World Tour)

Re:Too much cost... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about 5 years ago | (#28784573)

Downloading a song is $2+, while you can get a game with 80 songs for $60 new.

True. However, how many of those songs does the buyer like? Chances are that it would have been cheaper to buy just the songs you like as DLC.

Re:Too much cost... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 years ago | (#28784439)

Yes, but how many games from this genre do you need. after a while, they are all the same. I guess it's the same a buying the EA Sports NHL game every year. A lot of people do that. Although I never saw much need for it. Kind of a waste of money. I don't think I have need for more than 1 hockey game for each console.

Re:Too much cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784253)

You only need to buy the controllers once, most if not all the games come in game-only packages now as well

Re:Too much cost... (1)

rm999 (775449) | about 5 years ago | (#28784787)

I'd agree with you if Rock Band hadn't sold one billion dollars worth of games during the current recession. Given that, revenue being down 50% is still very impressive for a video game franchise.

That said, you are partially right. According to this article (http://stuff.tv/news/Guitar-Hero-and-Rock-Band-sales-down-but-downloads-soar/12842/), now that people have their hardware, and now that the innovation in games has ended, people are downloading tons of games. So the equipment is a barrier to entry, but it doesn't spell the death of the genre.

Re:Too much cost... (1)

rm999 (775449) | about 5 years ago | (#28784829)

Sorry, I mean downloading tons of songs, not games.

Poor song selection (4, Insightful)

Klobbersaurus (796024) | about 5 years ago | (#28783907)

Guitar hero needs more Buckethead, less Elton John.

Re:Poor song selection (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784209)

Yes, less fun music and more boring, pointlessly technical bullshit that only people who subscribe to Guitar magazine care about is precisely what the music games are missing! You know, the same assholes who say "why play Guitar Hero when you can just play a real instrument?" Yeah, those are a rich demographic for your music game. Better court those dudes aggressively with a heavy dose of Yngwie Malmsteen and Eric Johnson.

Re:Poor song selection (1)

Klobbersaurus (796024) | about 5 years ago | (#28784761)

Better to keep your existing fanbase happy than to piss them off by releasing crappy games that don't impress anybody. The newer games seem to only have 1 or 2 challenging songs. Guitar hero used to have replay value because of the challenging songs they put in the game. Now there is not much of a reason to play the newer games more than once (if at all).

Serious Music Games (0, Redundant)

JeddyH (1429067) | about 5 years ago | (#28783909)

Beatmania IIDX, Pop'n'Music, DDR, In the Groove 2, Pump it up and Pump it up Pro have been constantly successful with no signs of slowing down

Re:Serious Music Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28783967)

Pop'n Music hasn't had a CS release in 2 years and In the Groove 2 is now owned by Konami, with the only improvements coming from fan created content.

Re:Serious Music Games (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784123)

Well, there are problems so far: Roxor's In the Groove being sued out by Konami (I still question why Konami would do such a thing to an innovative series), Pop'n Music not having a serious home Japanese title since 14 (the Wii version does not count), and PiU Pro not gaining as much acceptance as anticipated. Pop'n and IIDX, sadly, have not ever had a decent American release, and even though this is the time to do it, Konami has not done a good job at all. IIDX US and DDR Hottest Party, anyone? :(

IMHO, In the Groove has been one of the more successful of the American hardcore rhythm gaming group; I have some friends who are working feverishly on a fan-made spinoff of ITG, called "OpenITG," which strives to bring back the glory days of this title. And of course, the game engine is based strongly on StepMania, which alone has some insane keyboard and pad charts created by its community.

It's funny how the fans are usually the ones who help drive along the rapid difficulty increases in rhythm games (Pop'n, for one, is an outstanding example of when a "family friendly game" quickly becomes an exceptionally challenging title. Just look for "Blue River EX 43" on YouTube, for example).

Re:Serious Music Games (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784275)

Hmm, that comment seems familiar [slashdot.org] . Are you still bitter that Guitar Freaks didn't catch on with anyone except 5 Japanese guys? Don't kid yourself, all that crap is niche...even in Japan.

Re:Serious Music Games (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28784547)

Are you still bitter that Guitar Freaks didn't catch on with anyone except 5 Japanese guys?

It has. Konami has acknowledged Guitar Hero Arcade as the North American counterpart to Guitar Freaks by licensing its GF patents to Activision for use in GH. See the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] and its references.

Re:Serious Music Games (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784773)

Comparing Guitar Freaks to Guitar Hero is like comparing a quill pen to a ballpoint. Yes, Guitar Freaks was first, but it's primitive and awkward compared to Guitar Hero or Rock Band. So, Activision settled with Konami to prevent a lawsuit...that doesn't make Guitar Freaks a popular game.

Re:Serious Music Games (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | about 5 years ago | (#28784383)

DDR is nowhere near as popular as it used to be.

Here's an idea... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28783931)

How about a game called "Bong Champion"? They could make controllers which are shaped like 2-foot bongs, and they could show onscreen representations of your character toking fat bong hits, as controlled by the inspiration presure sensor in the bong controller, as activated by a "lighter switch" on the bong-troller.

When the player gets tired and stops sucking, the on-screen character could be shown as passing out. When a player sucks for more than x seconds, he or she can get "puke power" and double points after their on-screen player pukes all over the place.

Alternately, there could be a hidden mini-game called "fellatio" champ. Use your imaginations :) Except for religious pussies, they have no imagination and they'd be best left to playing pin the tail on the donkey with mommy nearby to make sure that the punch stays non-alcoholic.

-- Ethanol fueled

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 years ago | (#28784681)

I don't see why this is such a bad idea. It's the next logical progression from major league eating [gamespot.com] .

Trends for only 2 months ? Shortsighted. (5, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | about 5 years ago | (#28783933)

What's been released in the last 2 months ? Guitar Hero : Smash hits ? It's basically a rehash of already released content, you can't expect record sales from that. The last big release in the genre was Guitar Hero : World Tour/Rock Band 2, and that was late last year. Big article about nothing if you ask me.

Re:Trends for only 2 months ? Shortsighted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784375)

Already released content? Smash Hits uses the same song titles from the same bands, but ALL songs are now masters and a couple are even live versions, and all of the charts are completely new and don't seem to be based on the old HMX cover-based charts at all. Plus, both GH:SH and GH:M have improved handling in the engine for the slider notes, making the window for them more like regular HOPOs instead of way too tight like they did in WT.

GH:SH is easily the second best release of GH since GH2, bested only by GH:M in terms of gameplay and music.

Re:Trends for only 2 months ? Shortsighted. (1)

RedK (112790) | about 5 years ago | (#28784533)

All you wasted time looking up about the game isn't going to push sales, but to a few very hardcore players. New players either get it because they didn't play the older games, or don't because they are sick of playing the same songs over and over again. It's not the main series, so forget about sales being high, especially in the summer months, right in the middle of a recession.

Re:Trends for only 2 months ? Shortsighted. (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 5 years ago | (#28784409)

Not to mention that the retail sales should be smaller than last year due to fewer bundles being sold (since everyone that wants the controllers already has them). Add that we're in a recession and game sales as a whole are down, and that this study doesn't include digital song download revenue (at $2 a pop!); this is a non-story.

Finally! (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | about 5 years ago | (#28783947)

Could never understand the appeal of carpel tunnel hero...

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784345)

Could never understand the appeal of carpel tunnel hero...

Have you tried the drums?

Re:Finally! (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | about 5 years ago | (#28784693)

Ur doin' it wrong!

Good riddance. (2, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | about 5 years ago | (#28783955)

Don't get me wrong--I enjoy extended Guitar Hero sessions with friends as much as the next guy, so I'm glad it exists. But it seems to me that if you're interested enough in playing music to spend hours on a simplified simulator, you might as well buy a cheap guitar / bass / drum kit and do it for real. It's not quite as easy, but it's far more rewarding and you aren't limited to playing other people's songs.

Re:Good riddance. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784149)

It seems to me that if you're interest enough in stealing cars to spend hours on a simplified simulator, you might as well buy a cheap lead pipe and do it for real.

Re:Good riddance. (4, Funny)

plams (744927) | about 5 years ago | (#28784225)

The gameplay of GarageBand [apple.com] is way more realistic than Rock Band! The sheer number of jarring sounds it can make when you suck at guitar is immense!. However, the graphics is somewhat bland in comparison.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | about 5 years ago | (#28784269)

Why play any game at all when most of them are just simulators for stuff you can also do in real life?

Re:Good riddance. (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about 5 years ago | (#28784653)

Most of the games involve violence or some fantasy world. That's not stuff you should/can do in real life.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | about 5 years ago | (#28784817)

Or maybe you've missed the entire point that people aren't playing games like this for anything other than to have fun.

Re:Good riddance. (3, Insightful)

Fulminata (999320) | about 5 years ago | (#28784349)

Why does someone always bring this up? It's a game, not a simulator!

If I wanted to learn how to play a guitar, then I'd pick up a guitar. I just want to have some fun with my friends playing a game that happens to include music we like.

Please, stop acting as if people are using these games as a substitute for playing music, they're not. If all the music games were to suddenly disappear overnight, people would not go out and buy real instruments, they'd simply play a different game.

Re:Good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784451)

It's not quite as easy, but it's far more rewarding and you aren't limited to playing other people's songs.

But im lead guitar in an 80s cover band you insensitive clod!

I'm sick of everyone saying this (5, Insightful)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | about 5 years ago | (#28784453)

I'm a musician, I've been playing for as long as I can remember. And all my musician jackass friends snidely say this exact same thing to people who are good at rock band, and it has started to irritate me. Guitar hero is not playing music, and the skills do not transfer as people seem to think. Pressing buttons while holding your hands in a similar position as when playing a guitar gives you zero indication of musical ability or any positive benefit for your playing. It only shows you can move your fingers in time with a beat, but thats where the similarity ends. Its like me saying "oh fly fishing you wave a big wooden stick and baseball you do the same! Fisherman should be good at baseball!"

Don't get me wrong, I think these games are fun as hell even though I don't own them. I love when a friend has rock band and we all knock back a few and rock out, cheap easy fun. But don't dellude yourself, rock band will do little to lessen the years it takes to be able to play live with people and not make horrible noise. That being said, I respect people who are really good at it becase although i'm a pretty decent guitarist, I can't do those nutso songs on expert. And my friends are wrong to presume I should be able to.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 5 years ago | (#28784491)

But it seems to me that if you're interested enough in playing music to spend hours on a simplified simulator, you might as well buy a cheap guitar / bass / drum kit and do it for real. It's not quite as easy, but it's far more rewarding and you aren't limited to playing other people's songs.

I'm assuming you mean to say that the hardcore players who would keep the genre going may be moving to proper instruments, rather than the same tired troll "LRN to play N00B"?

Re:Good riddance. (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 5 years ago | (#28784687)

Oh well... there's always DDR!

Re:Good riddance. (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 years ago | (#28784717)

The market isn't really for solo play. There are a lot of people who will play it this way but the main reason people like it is to get friends round to play. This means you need to make it as easy to pick up as possible.

Re:Good riddance. (3, Insightful)

Clovis42 (1229086) | about 5 years ago | (#28784859)

you might as well buy a cheap guitar / bass / drum kit and do it for real.

No. I don't want to learn how to play a guitar. I'm not musically talented at all, but I can do pretty good on Expert in the games. This is fun. I get to listen to and experience the music in a fun way. To learn guitar would take forever, and I would never be very good at it. It doesn't matter how much time I spend on guitar games; I'm only doing it to have fun. Why not tell FPS players to quit wasting their time and join the army??

Re:Good riddance. (1)

sukotto (122876) | about 5 years ago | (#28784969)

Right, just like if you're really interested in

  • Golf, you should buy a cheap set of clubs and go play instead of sitting around playing the latest Tiger Woods game.
  • Football, Buy a ball instead of playing Madden
  • Skateboarding, Buy a skateboard instead of playing Tony Hawk
  • Etc

:-)

I wonder (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 5 years ago | (#28783959)

Gee, think that might have anything to do with flooding the market with sequel after sequel until nobody can keep track of them any more?

Re:I wonder (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | about 5 years ago | (#28784489)

Didn't hurt the sims...

DJ Hero (2, Insightful)

werdnapk (706357) | about 5 years ago | (#28783969)

DJ Hero [djhero.com] looks to be the newest addition to freshen up the genre.

I'm not sure people will find it as "accessible" as guitar hero though due simply to the fact that almost everyone young and old understands the concept of a guitar.

Re:DJ Hero (2, Funny)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 5 years ago | (#28784867)

Oh that's just great. Guitar hero brought us a generation of kids playing video games pretending to be musicians. Now we're creating a generation of kids pretending to be people pretending to be musicians?

Did they really expect (1)

wernox1987 (1362105) | about 5 years ago | (#28783975)

Guitar Hero "Smash Hits" to sell like Hot Cakes?!?!?!?! Its a greatest hits album for a music game.....any greatest hits should have just been released as DLC. In fact, I think I've bought about 300 rock band songs, at $2 each, that equals about 10 times a single copy of a game (since they've said they don't make money on the controllers).

Re:Did they really expect (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | about 5 years ago | (#28784723)

Yes. But for the Wii most of this is new content, as Wii never got Guitar hero 1 or 2. That being said, most of the songs on GH are suck, and wii players probably better off not having had gH 1 and 2.

I'm surprised it lasted this long (2, Insightful)

Piata (927858) | about 5 years ago | (#28783985)

Activision especially has been milking this market for a while with new Guitar Hero packages yearly. Harmonix seems to be much more focused on quality vs quantity and also focused more on DLC than retail goods. In the end I think Activision is going to be hit the hardest by this as they've been pushing new instruments and Guitar Hero games yearly. There's only so many times people will upgrade their plastic instruments before the market is saturated.

Plus, there's also the fact that you can go out and buy a real guitar for twice the price of one of these sets and develop a real skill with a real instrument that if properly maintained will last a life time.

Re:I'm surprised it lasted this long (2, Interesting)

Deosyne (92713) | about 5 years ago | (#28784737)

It was a smart move for Harmonix to kill the idea of a Rock Band 3 this year, particularly with Activision completely saturating the market with Guitar Hero software. Admittedly, that was more for the sake of focusing development on Rock Band: Beatles, but it still works out. I just hope RB3 adds the one feature in Guitar Hero that doesn't suck: stats, and lots of them.

After spending the past six months learning to play bass, I now realize what a bullshit correlation it is between playing rhythm games and playing an actual instrument. Learning to play an instrument is hundreds of hours of tedium, toil, and focus just to get to a point where you finally don't suck enough to be able to play a little with other mediocre musicians. Rhythm games are a fun way to play timing puzzles synced to some great songs, are accessible to anyone immediately, and require less than one hundred hours to be able to play at an expert level.

The only things that rhythm games and playing instruments have in common are:
1) Music is involved.
2) The tools are roughly the same shape.

Re:I'm surprised it lasted this long (3, Informative)

Chad Birch (1222564) | about 5 years ago | (#28784957)

New Guitar Hero packages "yearly"? I think you missed a few, starting from World Tour:

Guitar Hero World Tour: October 26, 2008
Guitar Hero On Tour Decades: November 16, 2008
Guitar Hero Metallica: March 29, 2009
Guitar Hero On Tour Modern Hits: June 9, 2009
Guitar Hero Smash Hits: June 16, 2009
Guitar Hero 5: September 1, 2009
Band Hero: November 2009
Guitar Hero Van Halen: November/December 2009

That's 8 games in a little over one year.

Because they are all the same (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#28784005)

Seriously -- we are going to need something new to keep us entertained. How many Rock Bank/Guitar Hero games have there been now? Do they really think that people are dumb enough to keep buying the same thing over and over? They need to innovate! Figure out a way to use a real guitar, for instance. Then people can actually learn to play an instrument! Make it easier for users to upload their own songs. I don't know what the answer is, all I know is that they keep dumping the same thing on people over and over again, and most are not going to be willing to keep shelling out $60 for a new collection of songs every 6 months. They are not even beating a dead horse anymore, they have completely annihilated the horse's carcass and are now beating a vaguely horse-shaped grease spot into the ground.

Re:Because they are all the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784373)

You're completely correct, nobody in their right mind would buy the same game year in and year out [youtube.com] . That's why the Madden franchise doesn't sell, right?

Re:Because they are all the same (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about 5 years ago | (#28784493)

Make it easier for users to upload their own songs.

You mean like this? [rockband.com]

It may be something else (1)

copponex (13876) | about 5 years ago | (#28784007)

Like your significant other giving you dagger eyes when you mention picking up a $300 video game. It's okay though. I still have Enemy Territory. I mean, those guys who it happens to still have Enemy Territory.

No, honey, I'm not on slashdot again. Yes, I'm updating my resume. What don't... what, is that a baseball bat? What are you... OH JESUS, MY LEGS! WHY ARE YOU DOI

!#&^!$#^(&*) NO CARRIER

Re:It may be something else (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | about 5 years ago | (#28784407)

With paying for the game, your wife at least has a reasonable objection, but I get nasty glares just for playing the games, even the ones my wife bought me (TF2/Portal was the best birthday ever!). She doesn't like competing with a game for my attention, and she finds watching me play Guitar Hero (FretsOnFire actually) incredibly irritating. Everytime I puck up the keyboard on our MythTV system I get "the stare". "No, I'm not going to play Guitar Hero, I'm fixing the NFS issue! Can't I just geek out in peace?!"

Re:It may be something else (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 5 years ago | (#28784805)

You think that's bad?

We picked up Wii Fit last summer. I have played it every day since we got it except for five days when I was out of town.

I lost 20 pounds and have kept it off. (I am down to 165 from my peak weight 13 years ago, which was 250. I had been stable at 185 for several years. I've been at 165 for a little under a year now.)

My wife has not lost 20 pounds; she is extremely upset at me for losing weight.

For Father's Day, she got me EA Active*. I've been doing that in the evenings for the last month. I haven't changed much in terms of fitness, although I've noticed a slight increase in muscle definition.

She has, of course, been even MORE upset that I've been keeping this weight off. She hasn't had the same fitness changes that I've had. Of course, she hasn't been as dedicated to it as I have - I've put in close to 80 hours on the Wii Fit and 10 on EA Active, plus a lot of biking to work. I think she's got 20 hours on the Wii Fit.

*Had the people who wrote EA Active ever played a game before? Was it done by co-op students? Children? Morons? Who did QA?

Thank God! (1)

orsty3001 (1377575) | about 5 years ago | (#28784043)

If we could just get rid of modern music and reality TV shows.

Happens with every genre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784067)

i remember back in the 1990's everyone was making RTS games and they all died as people played C&C, Starcraft and Warcraft. Little later RPG was the fad and there were 20 RPG games on the shelves. FPS was another fad and devs were thinking up new things to do in multi-player gaming along with the Quacke/Unreal battle. and us old timers remember the Myst fad when everyone was making stupid powerpoint slide show games where you move crap around to get to the next slide

maybe oversaturation? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#28784093)

There's so many damn versions out there, not just of major number releases like GH5 but spin-offs and other crap.

Frankly, I'm astounded at the level of popularity and dumbfounded by the success of something like Rock Band with all those expensive peripherals. I would have pointed to that sniper game on that Sega system, the one with the $200 gun accessory with the TV built into the scope and said it would be another failure like that. Looks like I was wrong but it also looks like they're going to run the genre into the ground until people are sick of it.

Frets on Fire (1)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | about 5 years ago | (#28784099)

Maybe most people started playing Frets on Fire [sourceforge.net] ... LOL!

Seriously though, if that game (had) really caught on, Guitar Hero and Rock Band would be finished. Especially if there was full band integration and some of the other features from both other franchises were added.

Re:Frets on Fire (1)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | about 5 years ago | (#28784559)

You know, I have GH3 & World Tour - a friend bought GH2 just so he could get the guitar to play FoF (And gave me GH2)... and then I picked up Rock Band 2 for $15.

And yet, I play FoF gladly over the others - there's something to be said about having the ability to play any song over a series somewhat instantly... None of this "Swapping Discs" to play a series of songs that span a few series.

Let's see: GH1, GH2, GH3, GH WT, GH: Rock the 80's, GH: Aerosmith, GH: Smash Hits, RB1, RB2... did I miss any
And that's not counting the DLC that's specific to the game (For the GH series)

At least Rock Band did things *somewhat* right in that they're songs, playable through either version (1 or 2) once you've downloaded the disc to your system (on the 360, you had to pay about $5 for the rights to do so... not sure if you can on the PS/3 ?). The GH series would shine if they let you pay $10 or so to allow you to download the songs from previous versions (all... 7 of them?) from one game, and it would probably be very popular (Although you'd need the larger hard drive to do so - the 20, and maybe the 60, would be too small).

If you can get all of your music in one place, you'd probably enjoy the games a lot more. Oh look, FoF! And it's all there! Wow... (I'm not sure the legalities of using the songs from the GH / RB series if you've already purchased the game - can anyone enlighten me?)

Software patents (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28784725)

Seriously though, if that game (had) really caught on, Guitar Hero and Rock Band would be finished.

No, their publishers would just sue anybody who distributes Frets on Fire for patent infringement in every country that recognizes software patents. The article is about sales in the United States, which is one such country.

Allowing real instruments would be great (1)

Captain Morgan (160029) | about 5 years ago | (#28784103)

I'm a fan of RB, love the drums, but can't stand the guitar with buttons. I'd love to be able to use a real drum kit or guitar and interface them with the game. Would be great for learning how to play and would allow people to learn skills with real instruments. I'm aware of guitar rising although it has been under development for years.

Chris

Re:Allowing real instruments would be great (1)

Piata (927858) | about 5 years ago | (#28784545)

I think Harmonix's ultimate goal was to turn that 10 year learning curve with a real instrument into a 2 or 3 year learning curve. It's hard to build and sell something like that, so while it might be possible in the future I think we have a long way to go before it's feasible.

Re:Allowing real instruments would be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784599)

I'd love to be able to use a real drum kit or guitar and interface them with the game. Would be great for learning how to play and would allow people to learn skills with real instruments.

Would a MIDI input do?

Guitar Hero Midi Controller (Guitar):
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvN_cB-SRH8 [youtube.com]

lay Guitar Hero World Tour with a Midi Electronic Drum:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpkiy8aOZ_Y [youtube.com]

Here is some more info, but Google will be more up to date than I...
  http://www.rc-bot.com/index.php?page=ghdrummidifilter [rc-bot.com]

You have played guitar hero enough to get 1 millio (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784113)

You. Are. Fags.

Sell out!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784115)

I used to love to play these games and have every one of them up through Rock Band 2. I can explain the decline in popularity very simply: All of the music pre-RockBand 2 was chosen because it was good music and would work well in the game. RockBand 2 and all of the DLC to follow is a complete sellout and now acts as a vehicle for the music industry to promote the same crappy music that it pushes on MTV.

Re:Sell out!!! (2, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784433)

1) MTV doesn't play music.

2)Are you seriously implying that the Who, Nirvana, Elvis Costello etc are MTV bands? Or the obscure stuff Bikini Kill, the Libyans, etc? So, they have a Panic at the Disco song, there's 70+ other tracks. Don't pick that song if you don't like it.

You're a whiner!

Non-story (5, Insightful)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | about 5 years ago | (#28784153)

Anyone else thinking that sales are down because there is only a finite market for music based games and it's much closer to saturation point now than it was when the last batch of good games were released? GH Metalica is really only a purchase if you're a metalica fan, while GH Greatest/Smash Hits has had lack-luster reviews and will largely only get a purchase from the hardcore fans and those new to the series that didn't get to play GH1/2/3/80's.

RB Beatles and GH5 are slated for September release and have now been out of the top 20 for 2 months. How exactly is the last major game release of a developer dropping out of the top 20 just 4 months before the release of their next major title a "decline"? Most development studios would make blood sacrafices to be in the top 20 that long!

Filler article for the summer games-news drought.

Theremin Hero would be very cool (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | about 5 years ago | (#28784197)

Alesis had a cool theremin-like synth years ago. I bet you could get a Wii controller to behave like one.

Guitar Hero Hero? (0, Flamebait)

Itninja (937614) | about 5 years ago | (#28784227)

In the same vein as World of World of Warcraft, I have developed a game called Guitar Hero Hero. The player uses an elaborate set of motion sensing devices to control a character on screen. That character hold a Guitar Hero "guitar" and the goal is to increase the characters 'loser' meter by making him/her think they are actually playing a real instrument. You have Loser Power!

It all about the artists, now (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 years ago | (#28784281)

I'll buy one when we finally have Dire Straits available to play on guitar. 'Cause I want my ... you know.

Attach a real guitar (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 5 years ago | (#28784395)

Even if they keep adding more songs, it's pretty much the same thing over and over. I played it here and there at a friend's place and the repetitive button mashing gets old fast - there's no real sense of accomplishment.

Add a mod or controller that allows you to hook up a real guitar, and figure out some "skill / sound = more points" system. Something similar to the voice recognition for the microphone in rock band. Now you're actually learning a real instrument and feel some sense of accomplishment (and your parents / spouse won't be on your ass for wasting time 'playing video games'). Set up some gaming version of i-tunes where you can buy new songs and play them. I've never met a guitar player that just stopped playing 'cause it was boring or they "just didn't feel like it anymore". Factor in the continuous influx of songs by artists and now you've got a virtually infinite business model.

Re:Attach a real guitar (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#28784569)

Even if they keep adding more songs, it's pretty much the same thing over and over. I played it here and there at a friend's place and the repetitive button mashing gets old fast - there's no real sense of accomplishment.

Obviously you didn't play on Expert...and you didn't touch the drums either, did you?

Add a mod or controller that allows you to hook up a real guitar, and figure out some "skill / sound = more points" system. Something similar to the voice recognition for the microphone in rock band.

The pitch controls on Rock Band don't really measure how good of a singer you are...you can mumble quietly into the mic and get a perfect score. Or you can explore your full vocal range and fail.

I've never met a guitar player that just stopped playing 'cause it was boring or they "just didn't feel like it anymore".

Be honest now...never? No one ever quits playing guitar because they got sick of it? I'm sorry, you're wrong.

Re:Attach a real guitar (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | about 5 years ago | (#28784901)

Add a mod or controller that allows you to hook up a real guitar, and figure out some "skill / sound = more points" system. Something similar to the voice recognition for the microphone in rock band. Now you're actually learning a real instrument and feel some sense of accomplishment (and your parents / spouse won't be on your ass for wasting time 'playing video games').

Oh boy! Instead of just having fun playing a game I can now turn it into a music class! That sounds like loads of fun! Seriously, why do you people like you keep posting bullshit like this as if anyone, other than a few hardcore nerds, who plays this game actually thinks they are learning an instrument?

I've never met a guitar player that just stopped playing 'cause it was boring or they "just didn't feel like it anymore".

OTOH, I know about a half dozen people who have done exactly that.

but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784461)

they would still sell fine if they quit specializing them down to specific artists, it wont be long before people have to ask who the hell metallica and the beatles are. ... or maybe it already started.

The lack of commoditization is hitting them. (1)

baadfood (690464) | about 5 years ago | (#28784563)

Basically, each new title that comes out invalidates all the previous songs. I now own GH III. GH Aerosmith, GH World Tour and GH Metallica. There is *some* sharing of DLC amongst the latest titles, but for every disk I put in my console - that acts to eliminate the majority of my collected songs from my available playlist. Until/Unless the next version of Guitar Hero allows me to copy ALL the songs from ALL my Guitar Hero's onto my disk and play them all from a single playlist, well, i'm losing interest.

Input lag (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 5 years ago | (#28784565)

I bet the relatively high input lag of LCD monitors has something to do with this. Even 20-40ms of latency can wreck games where timing and rhythm is important.

LCD manufacturers - please include this spec!! (CRT monitors don't suffer from this problem).

Re:Input lag (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | about 5 years ago | (#28784967)

To your two points - probably not, and no. I could see how you might think this is a problem. Input lag of LCD monitors probably don't contribute to the problem with these games not selling. I am certain that Guitar Hero 2 includes a calibration screen where you could completely correct for lag. (Oddly enough, Guitar Hero 3 either does not have that or put it someplace hard for me to find...) I would assume that Rock Band does also, since Harmonix made GH2 (but not GH3 and up) and Rock Band. As for the CRT monitors not suffering from that problem, that is not always the case. I have a Samsung wide format CRT TV, and with my PS2 hooked up via component cable and Rock Band 2 running in Progressive/Widescreen, the correction is usually around 65. I assume that number is ms, but it could be some made-up metric. Hooked up to a standard CRT with composite cables, the correction is 0. As usual, Your Mileage May Vary, This was performed with guitarists on a closed course, I may have a crap TV, etc.

DDR (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 years ago | (#28784771)

Same thing happened with DDR. I love it, and there will always be a hardcore group of DDR players. But the market is saturated, and it isn't new anymore, so sales won't continue to climb forever.

Of course its dying (1)

grapeape (137008) | about 5 years ago | (#28784851)

You can thank Activision for that one, a new $60 game every couple months that is really nothing more than the same game with new songs gets old quick. DLC was supposed to end that but instead they do things like add some extra "frets" that are rarely used or throw in some cymbals to require the gamer to buy the entire package again to play the game properly. Harmonix has at least been a bit more responsible about it, but there is enough from them looming on the horizon to make them just as guilty. Things should get a little better now that there is at least some intercompatabilty between the two but in the end greed has turned off most gamers I know.

this is unbelievably stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28784889)

uh it's declining because there is nothing new for sale. yeah i won't play guitar hero 3 but GH5 sounds pretty good to me. let me pick the songs BECAUSE THE SONGS ARE THE GAME not the gameplay. if it was competitive hopscotch to good music on natal --with no guitar-- people would pay to play it. i'll make the greatest game ever.

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