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Viacom Closes MTV Games

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the fads-only-take-you-so-far dept.

Businesses 27

eldavojohn writes "The Escapist is reporting that the MTV Games division of Viacom is being closed. After selling off Harmonix for an alleged equivalent of a single Red Lobster Gift Card, it turns out that Viacom's division known as MTV Games has little left on its plate. There's some bickering over missed performance-based payments, and MTV Games failed to secure a publishing deal for all the Rock Band games in Europe — which appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for them."

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Music bubble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35110592)

I think the word we're looking for is fad. Music games went up and now they're coming down. Sucks to be the one stuck with a pet rock though.

Re:Music bubble. (4, Insightful)

aaaantoine (1540357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35110672)

Fad schmad. People still play these games. The market is saturated. Everybody who was gonna buy a set of Rock Band instruments has already done so.

Re:Music bubble. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111260)

Fad schmad. People still play these games. The market is saturated. Everybody who was gonna buy a set of Rock Band instruments has already done so.

But they can still make a killing selling replacement drum set pedals.

Re:Music bubble. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111388)

They ought to just load them into containers and blow them out in some other country for a song, pun intended. Most of them are probably old controllers so they can be used to whet these potential markets' appetites for the new stuff. Another possibility is to work some deal to donate them and get some other company to buy them to do it (with the whole writeoff prepped already) in exchange for some cash.

Re:Music bubble. (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111860)

We still play RB1 and RB2, but we never upgraded past the RB1 instruments (wired). Probably will get the newer instruments at some point and get RB3, but there isn't enough new gameplay to make it worth shelling out close to the price of a console for a single game. And that's the biggest problem with the music games.

Re:Music bubble. (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112034)

Probably will get the newer instruments at some point and get RB3, but there isn't enough new gameplay to make it worth shelling out close to the price of a console for a single game.

Rock Band 3 there has amazing new gameplay. The keyboards alone are a great addition. The training is far more advanced, and with the right set up would very easily teach a person how to play a real instrument (which is not necessary if you just want to play a game). The Pro modes on all the instruments adds yet another level of difficulty. The ability to drop in and out of a song at any moment makes for a great party game. The ability to progress in the game even in no fail mode allows less skilled players to enjoy the full extent of the game (and no fail does not make it easier to earn stars or score, just allows you to play the whole song.) They removed the whole tour mode and integrated that better into the overall game, but they did add road challenges which include a new way to earn accolades and teaches you to focus on different aspects of playing.

Overall Rock Band 3 has been worth every penny spent, including the keyboard and midi pro adapter (so we can utilize our Roland TD-9 electronic drum kit which blows away any of the rock band equipment.)

And nothing of value was lost (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35110610)

Did anybody really expect a publishing arm of The Shiny Things Network to be able to accomplish anything that requires effort? I mean they couldn't even get Harmonix' stuff published in Europe, and that was when it was actually popular (that bubble is over now).

This whole venture was little more then some suit saying "hey games are popular, lets get into that!" Once they did it, they realized that it's actually a tough, cutthroat industry.

Good riddence.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35110650)

Absolutely absurd, I agree. All those people, trying to live the life, who the fuck do they think they are anyway?

Take note game devs, make your bed in the wrong house...and you will be buried in it.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35110758)

My thoughts exactly. Sure, I bought a couple of GH games. They were amusing at the time, but the gimmick wore off, just like every game franchise that gets beaten worse than a dead horse (look at *shudders* CoD).

MTV had no business getting into gaming... actually, Viacom has no business existing at all. Please, please, please, stop.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35110866)

MTV had no business getting into gaming

I don't know much about the games industry, so correct me if I'm wrong, but... does MTV Games actually have much to do with the operations of MTV itself, or is it- I suspect- just Viacom using a convenient name they have the rights to to brand and market certain products through another of their divisions?

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112006)

You think CoD is bad, at least it has a little fun to be had. Pick up the MoH 10th anniversary and watch a series slowly die. It goes from good (MoH:AA and the expansions) to okay (MoH:Pa) to "OMG WTF!" with MoH:Airborne which actually had fricking slow mo power ups like something out of Painkiller. Man it is painful, and the AI makes Forrest Gump look like Albert Einstein.

As for TFA, it was the fricking bazillion and one controllers IMHO that did it in. When the controllers cost more than a system you are in trouble, and it got to the point my GF who loves to go to garage sales would point out the endless stacks of GH and RB controllers at every single yard sale she drug me to. That is when I knew it was toast.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116130)

Heh heeh heh shut up fartknocker [google.com] . Don't forget your history [wikipedia.org] .

Xfire (1)

SaxtusGR (753511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35110642)

Makes me wonder what effect that will have to Xfire, specially after Viacom acquiring it from MTV Networks http://www.xfire.com/cms/xf_acquisition/ [xfire.com]

Re:Xfire (1)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35110706)

People still use Xfire after the ads were introduced?

Re:Xfire (2)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111590)

From wikipedia: "On August 2, 2010, Xfire was acquired by Titan Gaming"
http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/02/exclusive-titan-gaming-takes-xfire-off-viacoms-hands/ [techcrunch.com]

My weekly gaming group still uses Xfire exclusively (the persistent group voice chat is very good).

Re:Xfire (1)

SaxtusGR (753511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111762)

Oh. I've lost episodes... And the fact that they still list MTV email addresses at their contact pages added to the confusion!

As an ex employee (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111288)

This is no surprise. They did everything they could to run HMX into the ground before laying off 13% in December '09 to make their numbers look good. Since then it was a constant stream of people leaving.

Re:As an ex employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35114268)

Yes, good riddance. Other companies could put those developers to better use.

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111344)

I wanted slashdot, not eldavojohn's blog.

Teen mom vs jersey shore (1)

kevorkian (142533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111408)

Too bad they never developed a mortal kombat style game.

I likely would have bought %subj% just to watch snookies spine get ripped out.

Good for Viacom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112196)

According to TFA, they got $150 million in tax incentives and unloaded a ton of debt by selling Harmonix

Plus they got $50! Score!

Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112320)

If only Viacom would close MTV as well...

MTV next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112578)

We can only hope MTV itself is next.

Amplitude and Frequency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35113232)

How about a sequel to Amplitude now? Much more innovative and engaging games imo.

They did this to themselves (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35115098)

The reason Music games aren't doing well isn't that they aren't a genre people are interested in, simply that releasing the same game every 3 months and adding minor crap can make even the biggest fan of the genre completely jaded. Over saturation of any genre especially one that specific will eventually result in a total lack of interest in new products.

Re:They did this to themselves (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35115680)

People are interested in music games. The people aren't interested in getting nickeled and dimed to death to buy individual songs specifically for a game at a cost that is higher than what iTunes gives you for a song that you can transfer to any device. And then you have to pay AGAIN for the same songs for a different game from the same seller.

What killed Harmonix is the cost. $120 (game + instruments) + $2 + $2 + $2 + $2 + $5 + $2 + $7is not what people want.

Re:They did this to themselves (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116246)

This was somewhere that DLC could have been big. You get Rockband and as they license new content, sell it for 800MS points ($10) or 1200 points ($15) because you don't need to redo the game engine for each release. I think that would have solved some of the issues with saturation.

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