PS3 News: Forbes Calls Rock Band A "Shameless Knockoff" Of Guitar Hero - PS3 News

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Forbes Calls Rock Band A "Shameless Knockoff" Of Guitar Hero

As soon as we heard about the premise for Rock Band, we figured the accusation of plagiarism would pop up eventually. And now, thanks to Forbes, it has.

A recent article talks about Activision/Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, the outrageously successful Guitar Hero franchise, and the idea that EA's Rock Band is just a "shameless knockoff." The quote in question that has ignited quite the online debate is as follows:

"EA also teamed with MTV to sell Rock Band, a shameless knockoff of Guitar Hero that added drums, bass and a microphone to the world of make-believe rock stars. EA says it is returning to an 'auteur model' of designing games, taking bigger chances on fewer ideas."

Now, the Videogaming247 blog has tried to get EA to respond to the insinuation, but the publisher isn't about to get involved in the mud-slinging. All they said in reply was, "Unfortunately we can't comment on this," and that's where the subject ends. Well, that's where it ends for them, but what about you? Do you feel as if RB is a big ol' knockoff of GH? Are we looking at electronic theft of some kind? From our point of view, Rock Band simply built on an established and successful foundation, as most all developers have done at some point. It was just more visible because instead of the foundation existing on screen, it came in the form of physical instruments, so it seems more obvious. Of course, one could make an argument for the opposition as well, but we're just tossing out our 2 cents.

Oh, and let's not forget that GH followed RB's lead, after the latter introduced instruments other than a guitar.  We could go back and forth on this all day.

Related Game(s): Rock Band 2

1/20/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

PS3addict
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 10:51:50 AM
Reply

Wow!

First off the creators of rockband were.... the creators of Guitar hero 1 & 2!!
Ok, so the basis is the same, you play guitar on a plastic guitar in a "simon says" kinda way. That is about where the similarities start and where they end as well.

I own RB 1 & 2 all of the GH games including world tour and I play RB2 more than any other.

I can play with my friends and kids at home, login and play with my online friends, jam and compete with random players online, none of these were abailable before rockband! GHWT grabbed these ideas and used them so they are more of a knock off of RB that RB is a knockoff of GH. Of course Rock Revolution is the real knock off of this genre.

It is different, the graghics are better, the sound is better, the interface is better, the songs.. well that is debatable. The guitars are way bigger and more comfortable to play. the notes and strum bar on screen are different from GH as well.

The ability to download the first game to your hard drive and add the tracks to the second one is genius, the DLC is pretty well spread out among all genre's even country and kiddie pop.

I think that the original developers of GH took their knowledge, added more ingenuity and thought to the concept and made a new game based on those ideas and the experience of knowing what worked and what did not.


Last edited by PS3addict on 1/20/2009 10:56:56 AM

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Orvisman
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:08:18 PM

Actually, if you consider that "Rock Revolution" creator Konami created the genre with its Japan-only Guitar Freaks (which I imported)... then no!

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 2:31:13 PM

lol...yeah, kinda sucks that Konami is making the least money...and the worst product! Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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tramp
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 10:57:50 AM
Reply

oh snap!!!!!:)does it really matter,is Uncharted a shameless knockoff of Tomb Raider??

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JofaMang
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:01:36 AM
Reply

Rockband came out after GH debuted (long after, around the same time as GH3?), with identical guitar and gameplay designs.

Regardless if they added other instruments (although props to the vocal portion) they are still just improving on a design that wasn't theirs.

Just because Henry ford invented affordable production of vehicles, doesn't mean that all other auto manufacturers are shameless rip offs. But if Kia built a midsize car by reverse engineering and completely remaking a ford focus, then rebadging it a Kia Stocus with more headlights than a focus, well, the analogy gets a little more accurate.

EDIT NOTE: Was not aware that RB was made by the creators of GH1&2. That kind of changes things, although the GH IP doesn't belong to them (obviously) so they expanded upon an idea that they themselves built from the ground up.
Calling them shameless rip offs seems a little ignorant and harsh with that tidbit of info.

Last edited by JofaMang on 1/20/2009 11:04:42 AM

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Arvis
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:17:20 AM
Reply

Wow. Bobby Kotick is an idiot. I've always looked at GH: World Tour as a shameless knockoff of Rock Band! Viva Harmonix!

-Arvis

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Reccaman18
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 4:16:14 PM

My thoughts exactly! And why is it called "Guitar Hero" if there is a drum kit and microphone?

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whooka
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:21:23 AM
Reply

Well, firstoff, consider the source. Forbes magazine knows anything about video games? (other then how much money they are making) And like PS3Addict points out, Rock Band was made by the people who made the original Guitar Hero. And how is adding drums and a microphone 'knocking off' a product that had no drums and microphone? Even if that qualified it as a 'knockoff' it's hardly shameless as it's a huge leap in the game mechanics. And finally, as others pointed out, GH World Tour followed Rock Band with drums and a mic. That's more of a 'shameless' knockoff to me. Why we're even bothering entertaining alot of these inane press pieces about this stuff is beyond me (but here I am, replying, hehe).

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:18:24 PM

Actually from what i understand the idea to include further instruments came before the Harmonix/RedOctane split. EA/Harmonix were just the first to implement it while Neversoft/RedOctane played it a little too cautiously.

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Phoelix
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 1:31:29 PM

I believe you're right, Razel.

Bottom line, Forbes should NOT talk about video games. That'd be like Ben and the others trying to cover business and economy news.

Isn't it hilarious when old people make asses/idiots of themselves?

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pavlovic
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:22:22 AM
Reply

I think Neversoft ripped off Harmonix gameplay and ideas and make them a worst game and they benefited from a well known franchise.

Harmonix just freshed up their gameplay and ideas and make them a great game and now a great franchise.

Actually, RB and RB2, IMO are much much fun to play than GH3 or GHWT...

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N a S a H
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:33:03 AM
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This is pointless. If there's money going to be made obviously people are going to try to get their grubby little hands all over it. That's just life.

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Zorigo
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:57:18 AM

that's is why media is so biased.

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:35:26 AM
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Yeah, evidently this guy is ignorant to the fact that Harmonix is the original developer of Guitar Hero...which was a rip-off of GuitarFreaks.

Way to make an ass of yourself, dude.

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Zorigo
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:56:51 AM

true true

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coverton341
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:50:18 AM
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Sonic the Hedgehog was a blatant rip-off of Mario. They painted Mario blue made him fast and there you go. SUE SEGA AND PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS.

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Zorigo
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:56:32 AM

sonic is a good game in it's own kind. don't cry.

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coverton341
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:03:24 PM

sorry should have added the <sarcasm></sarcasm> tags in my previous post.

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Zorigo
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 11:56:01 AM
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oh let it live forbes you miserable ol' bastar*

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:03:04 PM
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lol GH 1 + 2 were made by Harmonix and RedOctane. RedOctane has now joined with Activision and continue to make GH under the Activivion banner while Harmonix went to EA and created RB under EA.
These facts aren't that difficult to understand are they? So why is it that Forbes can't see that the situation isn't as straight cut as " RB is a rip-ff of GH"? Sure, it was a lazy move to only alter RB by adding some more instruments and a new paint job. But that doesn't make it plagiarism. It's simply a split in the evolution of a game into 2 games.

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coverton341
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:04:29 PM

Because Forbes knows absolutely di** about video games because it is a "child's past-time"

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:27:10 PM

Lazy? To add 3 more charts, drums, vocals, solos, big rock endings, much improved graphics, etc.

As opposed to GH3, which added...???

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Naga
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 1:17:40 PM

@ Troy Power/ and Kick ass downloadable MUSIC!!!

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Joema
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 12:43:09 PM
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EVERY GAME IS A RIP OFF OF PONG BECAUSE IT USES AN INTERFACE AND A SCREEN CONNECTED TO A CONSOLE.

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somethingrandom
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 @ 12:19:00 AM

Pong is a shameless knockoff of Real Ping Pong.

Last edited by somethingrandom on 1/21/2009 12:20:33 AM

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fundando
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 1:03:48 PM
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In that case they are all ripoff's of beatmania.

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Geobaldi
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 1:13:20 PM
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What about the whole FPS genre? Shouldn't they all be considered blatant rip-offs of Wolfenstein? Champions of Norrath, the console versions of Baldur's Gate, Titan Quest, and countless others should be classified as Diablo rip-offs. We've seen this done in the gaming industry forever. A game comes out and if it's successful, then all the clones start showing up. I personally have no problem with it as long as they're good. Though most are different in their own ways. And Drake ripped off Indy not Lara lol.

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Naga
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 1:14:18 PM
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Silly man (kid) (noob) Guitar Hero World Tour is basically a ripp off of Rock Band

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packersfan66
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 2:56:32 PM
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well rockband was 5x beter than guitar hero so who cares

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 5:12:35 PM
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They're both garbage!

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MetalHead09
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 6:15:31 PM
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its just another case of someone talking about something they know nothing about so lets just let it go guys.

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shadowpal2
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 6:54:20 PM
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....sounds very....umm...how do I put it......"Unprofessional"??? I don't know - it just does haha. And...how about this....Guitar Hero was a shameless knockoff of REAL GUITAR. Oh and the idea of colors popping on the screen and you have to hit them in the right timing is a total shameless knockoff of Dance Dance Revolution.

God...it's just video games. Business leaders are honestly now turning into kids complaining.

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ceedot
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 8:31:56 PM
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Guitar hero just copied japanese style guitar games. Rock band was definately a good game, and I enjoyed having an option of drums and a microphone as well, so IMO guitar hero copied everyone. I still enjoy guitar hero but it's not as if I'm going to hate another game because it has the same concept. If it were a shooting game, or an adveture game for example, if the style was copied then it would be a different story as music games are really all the same.

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LightShow
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 10:49:29 PM
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first off, and I have to throw it out there, what the hell does FORBES know about gaming?? It's like CNET commenting on the latest shipment of tulip bulbs from Holland...

Second, my allegiances lie with Harmonix, the studio that made GH a household name, and not Activision, who took that name and gave it to a studio that specialized in Tony Hawk games.

Harmonix is where the creativity and the genius is at, at this point all Neversoft is doing is tweaking and adding songs.

IMO, this is a bull**** article. Obvious lack of industry knowledge by the guy they quoted, and shame on the article writer who didn't clarify the situation.

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