Music Genre Not Saturated, Says Guitar Hero Exec

Music Genre Not Saturated, Says Guitar Hero Exec


In spite of a precipitous drop in music game sales, RedOctane CEO Dan Rosensweig says he doesn't think the market is saturated and that there's actually a lot of room left for continued growth in the future.

The music game genre has taken a pummeling this year, with year-over-year sales down by 46 percent according to NPD numbers released earlier this month. It's not all bad; much of the decline has been driven by lower unit sales and the category is still the third best-selling of year, behind "General Action" and "Multiple/Other Sports," which just happens to be the home of Wii Fit. But it's hard not to see the numbers as a sign that people might be getting tired of throwing their money at an endless stream of Hero games.

Unless, that is, you happen to be Dan Rosensweig, chief executive at Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane, in which case everything is apparently just peachy. "It has been a difficult economic year for everybody. Videogames are down, music videogames in terms of overall are down, but most people don't understand that the music videogame category is actually the second largest selling gaming category period," he told CNBC. "So after Call of Duty, which will be an Activision game this year, the entire music genre and Guitar Hero franchise will actually be the number two selling game franchise."

He also dismissed concerns that the release of The Beatles: Rock Band could be putting the squeeze on the Guitar Hero franchise, saying that he welcomes competing products that can help grow the genre. Noting that Guitar Hero 5 has "out-reviewed" every other game in the category, he said, "I'm happy that more people are in the category and expanding the category, because any time you have a chance for us to compete, we always generally come out the winner."

"I don't think [the market] is saturated," he continued. "If you actually look at the number of consoles that are out there on a global basis, less than 20 per cent actually have a music game. So there's the next 80 per cent that we have the opportunity to go after. So there are more consoles, those consoles are getting more connected and we have the opportunity to sell more into that audience. So we're not particularly concerned about that."

His attitude is certainly upbeat but I suspect he might be a little more concerned than he's letting on. Activision is heavily invested in the music genre and with the Guitar Hero series being joined by the DJ Hero and Band Hero games later this year, a major downturn in the genre is just about the last thing it needs.

via: GamesIndustry


Oh of course he'd say that, one of the leading guys in the Guitar Hero franchise.

I mean if your series has 5 Games a YEAR you're over saturating the market to say the least.

He's obviously not someone who plays games at all. Why must the industry be run by people like that?

Nonsense! The music gaming genre was a temporary thing the minute they decided to add peripherals. The casual player only needs 1 copy of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, cause why get more when thats all thats needed to start a party?

All the new games are are the last game with new music and maybe a few tweaks here and there, and as NoMoreSanity said, if you realese 5 games a year, your over saturating everything.

This is a great example of how opinions can be objectively wrong.

Of course the market is going to fall this year!

Our choices are Guitar Hero 5 which is like a middle-aged man trying to "get down" with the "kids music", I mean half of the setlist being songs from this year?

People want to rock out to the classics! Not some emo, pop-punk crap!

Which brings me onto the second choice, Beatles: Rock Band

Now don't get me wrong I love that Beatles, but their songs are not exactly in shape for a rhythm game, the instruments aren't that good. Also, the majority of Beatles fans probably don't know what an Xbox is!

Nearly all of the money made from this will be from Harmonix fan-boys or kids getting it bought from their Dad.

I still have to choose this, if either, though. It's all about the songs.

I won't lie, I own Rock Band 1+2. I've passed on all the extra garbage that has been pumped nonstop from Activision and Harmonix.

I don't want GH- Insert Band Name here, nor do I want a Beatles game, or a Lego Rock Band game.

Music games are fun, but there are plenty of other experiences to spend my money on.

I'll just keep on waiting for a death/black metal band game.

Which will never happen.

Second part of the quote


Wait, what does he mean, GH5 is the best reviewed game in the genre? Beatles Rock Band has a higher Metacritic, and I'm almost positive the two Rock Band's would as well.

In other irrelevant news the Wii is doomed, the DS has been cannibalized by the iPhone, PSPGo is definitely not controversial and Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma will definitely use SixAxis (Oh wait!)

OT: Riiiiiight. There is a saying dear developers and publishers: You can only sell the same game on the same audience so many times. So let the franchise take a break. You won't regret it.

The problem with music games is they are fracturing their own audience. The appeal of Rock Band and Guitar Hero is that there are songs in there for everyone. Rock Band Beatles and similar titles will only appeal to Beatles fans, which can only be a subset of the total music game buying customers.

The other problem is that each new guitar hero game is basically a song expansion pack.

What is "Band Hero"? It looks just like Rock Band...

What is "Band Hero"? It looks just like Rock Band...

"Band Hero" is Guitar Hero's answer to "Lego Rock Band." It is just meant to be more accessible to kids and those new to the series.


Honestly, I don't know what he is talking about, and hopefully he doesn't, either. At this point, if you are in the 80% of people without a music game, you don't want one. The Beatles: Rock Band, despite its flaws, is higher ranked than Guitar Hero 5, as are the two Rock Band games (both reaching the 90's for the PS3 and 360). Finally, in 2009 alone, they have churned out Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, Band Hero, DJ Hero, along with a mobile and arcade game. Compare this and 2008's six games from Guitar Hero (including mobile games), to Rock Band's six games ever (including mobile, excluding Track Packs).

I am a Harmonix person, but I won't lie, I enjoyed Guitar Hero 5 (although the setlist was lacking). However, at this rate, it seems like we are a couple of years away from Guitar Hero 9, Guitar Hero: Taylor Swift, and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Covers.

I didnt but Guitar hero 5 because i already have 3 of them and im getting tired of buying the same game over and over again.

No way you're getting my money before Assassin's Creed II, MW2, Uncharted 2 and H3:ODST.

Even then, I'd probably just get Trine.

This is a great example of how opinions can be objectively wrong.

Truly a shining beacon of crappyness.

It really doesn't matter how many GH games are being made this year.
It's the simple fact that they're doing amazing things with the franchise.
Always improving each sequel.
Honestly, TB:RB is overrated.

And no, this is not sarcasm.

He's kidding himself. Sure the games are fun enough I guess, but they probably come out too often. You have to buy the game all over again, leaving the old ones to sit and collect dust. Don't they already make enough off of DLC anyway? Rock Band releases a new pack every week? I'm pretty sure they make enough.

Other thing: WHY SO MANY GUITAR HERO'S? All of the exclusive band games can't possibly be worth it. How many are there? I want some variety in my setlists.

Wait, what does he mean, GH5 is the best reviewed game in the genre? Beatles Rock Band has a higher Metacritic, and I'm almost positive the two Rock Band's would as well.


GH1=91 (1 and 2 produced by Harmonix)
GH3=85 (Notice that this is where Neversoft took the reins)

RB1=92 (Both produced by Harmonix)

At its post-Harmonix best, GH has never out-rated RB. Hell, they never managed to out-rate the old GH games.

The genre is as stale as a 3 week old cheese slice... rock solid, not much to be expected, tastes like shit.

Rock Band 3 promises to revolutionize the genre? I doubt that adding a new button or another whammy bar is going to change stuff.

Better music, more in-game possibilities, graphics improvements... increased customization - all that is needed to keep this boat afloat. But nothing can get the genre back to its height. People are gettting tired of plastic toys. Nuff said.

If the music genre isn't saturated then why hasn't Guitar Hero had a semi decent set list since 3. 1 and 2 were the only ones really worth buying.


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