Music Game Makers: Genre Hasn't Topped Out, More To Come
Last year, sales in the rhythm/music genre plunged 46% due to what most analysts are calling an over-saturation of the market and perhaps declining interest in the fad.
But according to Harmonix, the genre hasn't topped out just yet; it's all about user-generated content. In speaking to Edge Online, Harmonix founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos says we haven't yet seen the best and most profitable years in the music genre. So don't you worry about that lesser sales number in 2009. Said Rigopulos:
"I absolutely do not believe that rhythm-action gaming has reached its peak. Of course, 2009 was a tough year with the recession, which especially affects music games given the relatively high price point of instrument bundles. But in the long term, people’s passion for music isn’t going away, and rhythm gaming will continue to provide people with a deeper level of engagement with the music they love. So, yes, I do think that future music games will exceed the sales success of the last generation."
At the same time, one might have to admit that Guitar Hero has already seen its heyday; Neversoft project director Brian Bright admits it'll be awfully difficult to top the sales performance of Guitar Hero III. After all, we're talking about the second-best selling video game in the US in the past 15 years. Said Bright:
"As far as sales exceeding GHIII’s in the future, only time will tell, but it’s a tall order. I think user-created content is key to the evolution. If you can’t create or edit licensed music due to copyright laws then you’re limited to pretending to play someone else’s music. I think the key is to create music, but make it compelling to create, so the game is in the creation, not the playback."
Rigopulos agrees with this assertion and says user-generated content will be "critical" in the future and adds that he's not only talking about "end-users or players;" he's also referring to "a huge community of power-users - skilled music creators - providing their music to the audience." Rigopulos lastly mentions the upcoming Rock Band Network as an example of such growth. We'll have to see how things go in 2010 but it's difficult to deny the ongoing popularity of the acclaimed Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises.
1/25/2010 10:51:42 AM Ben Dutka