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Music games blamed for falling game sales

Music games blamed for falling game sales

Music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been blamed for poor game sales this month.

Industry analysts are blaming the declining popularity of the music game genre on poor games sales this month, with the Guitar Hero and The Beatles: Rock Band both failing to meet the loft sales expectations set by publishers. Activision's music game sales are reported to be down by 25 percent compared to last year, for example.

According to GI.biz, while investors were expecting to see double-digit growth for games sales this month, figures released by the NPD Group show only a 5 percent growth in the market - begging the question of whether gamers might finally be sick of rhythm games.

"We expected far higher sales for the month, as we succumbed to much of the hype surrounding the relatively high-profile launches of The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5," said Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter.

"We had expected the former to sell 1.3 million units, and thought that sales of the disc would drive sales of older Rock Band bundles; instead, the game sold fewer than half our estimate, and overall sales came in at $73 million, well below our $140 million estimate.

"Similarly, we thought that the giveaway of a voucher for Guitar Hero Van Halen would have great appeal, and would drive Guitar Hero 5 sales. The game sold fewer than our 700,000 unit estimate, and overall Guitar Hero sales were only $43 million, well below our $75 million unit estimate," he added.

Music games aren't the only genre bearing the brunt though - Microsoft's Halo: ODST apparently didn't get the reception it was expected to either, from fans or critics.

What games have you bought this month? Let us know in the forums.

34 Comments

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sofalover 21st October 2009, 14:52 Quote
Did they honestly think sales would continue to grow, forever?
B1GBUD 21st October 2009, 14:52 Quote
I think people are wising up.... ZOMG!!! look Guitar Hero 37,934... I MUST HAVE IT.... not
Thedarkrage 21st October 2009, 14:53 Quote
first they blame piracy then the internet lol with almost all music tracks on older rockbands why don't they blame that ....maybe ppl just don't want to buy your crap music games and re download/pay again for the songs they want?
UrbanMarine 21st October 2009, 14:55 Quote
They need to start including groupies with every preorder. Maybe a drug addiction kit.
salesman 21st October 2009, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
They need to start including groupies with every preorder.

Agreed.
Veles 21st October 2009, 15:02 Quote
Well band specific titles never really sell all that well so I'm not surprised Beatles Rock Band isn't doing too well, especially since there aren't a lot of Beatles fans in Rock Band's target demographic.

As for Guitar Hero 5, I think people have just wizened up to the fact that the guitar hero franchise has turned to **** now Activision took it over. Really, the only thing you need is Rock Band 2 and a load of MS points to download the songs you like.
13eightyfour 21st October 2009, 15:08 Quote
When will they ever realise that we dont want the same game rehashed over and over, Where's the new games, the innovation if i got 1 great, interesting new game a year id be happy. Stop raping the same ideas and give us some new ones god damn it!!
cjoyce1980 21st October 2009, 15:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Well band specific titles never really sell all that well so I'm not surprised Beatles Rock Band isn't doing too well, especially since there aren't a lot of Beatles fans in Rock Band's target demographic.

As for Guitar Hero 5, I think people have just wizened up to the fact that the guitar hero franchise has turned to **** now Activision took it over. Really, the only thing you need is Rock Band 2 and a load of MS points to download the songs you like.

i agree that is the only music game title you need especially with a the song catalogue is near a 1000 now, but I think that people are generally getting bored with the novelty that GH and RB once had. once you have a played the guitar, drums, bass and had a sing-a-long what else can you really do with it???

its a toy with a limited scope at the end of it.
alpaca 21st October 2009, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
They need to start including groupies with every preorder. Maybe a drug addiction kit.

and a fold up interactive stage. wireless of course
NuTech 21st October 2009, 15:19 Quote
The problem here is Activision et al. are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

On one hand they sell Guitar Hero and RockBand as 'platforms', you buy the package once and download whatever songs appeal to you. A sound business model.

However they're trying to pair that with annual releases and bundles. It doesn't work and defeats the object of the original platform. Imagine having to buy a new Xbox/PS3 every year.

Add the fact that IMO they severely overestimated The Beatles appeal and demographic. No doubt they still have a lot of fans, but the vast majority have no interest whatsoever in buying a video game for a console they probably don't even own.

And Van Halen? Are you kidding me? At most that should of been a track pack. There was so little interest in that game Activision gave it away for free.

Then there's the most fundamental problem. Musical instruments are truly things of beauty, they look great in your home and say a lot about the owner. Plastic toys with 5 buttons are not the same thing.
cjoyce1980 21st October 2009, 15:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech

Then there's the most fundamental problem. Musical instruments are truly things of beauty, they look great in your home and say a lot about the owner. Plastic toys with 5 buttons are not the same thing.

Nail and Head
Veles 21st October 2009, 15:43 Quote
I'd rather have a plastic guitar I use than a real guitar I don't play.
NuTech 21st October 2009, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
I'd rather have a plastic guitar I use than a real guitar I don't play.
And that's totally cool.

But you have to understand that the market The Beatles RockBand and GH Van Halen would appeal to probably don't appreciate endless plastic instruments cluttering their homes.
SMIFFYDUDE 21st October 2009, 15:56 Quote
Oh diddums, did the bubble burst. Pehaps now they'll get back to making games for gamers. Nobody needs multiple music games.
TreeDude 21st October 2009, 15:56 Quote
Rock Band 2 had over 100 tracks on it when you included the 20 free downloadable tracks. The Beatles Rock Band has less than 50. That is the problem. My wife and I played through TBRB in one night (guitars only, drums are too loud for our apt). RB2 took us over a month because it not only had more tracks, but the story mode is much longer.

They keep releasing more games with less value. Full games should have more songs for the money than track packs do. Lego Rock Band is shaping up to disappoint, though I will probably pick it up just so I can rip RB2 and sell it.
liratheal 21st October 2009, 16:04 Quote
At least it's not Piracy, this week.
TurtlePerson2 21st October 2009, 16:11 Quote
There's already saturation in the music game market. They can't continue to expect growth forever. And ODST didn't review near as well as the other Halo games and wasn't promoted as heavily.

Also, "begging the question" doesn't mean what you think it means.
Abhorsen 21st October 2009, 16:43 Quote
Basically Music Games equalled New and Innovative, Now they are seen and done. Time to get creative Activision.
mjm25 21st October 2009, 16:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhorsen
Basically Music Games equalled New and Innovative, Now they are seen and done. Time to get creative Activision.

not with that stupid tony hawk controller though.
glaeken 21st October 2009, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Well band specific titles never really sell all that well so I'm not surprised Beatles Rock Band isn't doing too well, especially since there aren't a lot of Beatles fans in Rock Band's target demographic.

As for Guitar Hero 5, I think people have just wizened up to the fact that the guitar hero franchise has turned to **** now Activision took it over. Really, the only thing you need is Rock Band 2 and a load of MS points to download the songs you like.

Exactly. With RB2 and its extensive music collection there really isn't a need to buy standalone games.
Aracos 21st October 2009, 18:33 Quote
Another point is that the whole guitar hero thing started in 2005 so the hardcore fans that go out and buy every game will should be extremely good at expert now meaning there isn't much reward for continuing to play because you can play everything, thats guitar and bass covered but in 2008 (2007 in the us) drums and vocals came with rock band 1 and by now even the slowest of learners should be able to play everything song on expert drums and vocals and the fast learners are most likely not getting much challenge anymore so it wouldn't surprise me if there's a lot of players given up with the game because it's not much of a challenge or fun anymore. Why buy new games if you don't have fun anymore? They're only really fun for hardcore players when friends come round or you're having a rock band/guitar hero party =\
identikit 21st October 2009, 18:41 Quote
Typo? "Meet the lofty sales expectations"?
Star*Dagger 21st October 2009, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofalover
Did they honestly think sales would continue to grow, forever?

This is the basis of the Corporate C(r)apitalist structure, which died in 2008, enjoy the show as we find another economic system that works and isnt based on a cancer growth system.
Veles 21st October 2009, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
But you have to understand that the market The Beatles RockBand and GH Van Halen would appeal to probably don't appreciate endless plastic instruments cluttering their homes.

The majority of people who like the beatles don't appreciate games in general.
mikeuk2004 21st October 2009, 23:02 Quote
I got guitar hero 3 and thats enought for me.
greensabbath 21st October 2009, 23:56 Quote
That Van Halen thing was a joke too. I figured they would just send both games at once but all there was was a sticker on GH 5 that said there was more information on the back (which of course there wasn't) and after that I just couldn't be bothered. Now that the graphics don't look like complete crap, they should just make song packs to download instead of more games.
Phil Rhodes 22nd October 2009, 00:03 Quote
Well they should stop publishing asterisks, then, shouldn't they.
vampalan 22nd October 2009, 00:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by titanium angel
When will they ever realise that we dont want the same game rehashed over and over, Where's the new games, the innovation if i got 1 great, interesting new game a year id be happy. Stop raping the same ideas and give us some new ones god damn it!!

Sports games do very well in that department, especially football games here in the UK.

Edit:
Oh and driving games, can't wait for GT5.
And first person shooters...
frontline 22nd October 2009, 00:36 Quote
Why are there no games based on the music of Steeleye Span?
The_Beast 22nd October 2009, 00:58 Quote
Quote:

*and this one is for the drummer* lol


The novelty wore off, I used to play it a lot, now it's lucky if it gets dusted
dark_avenger 22nd October 2009, 02:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
They need to start including groupies with every preorder.

+1
[USRF]Obiwan 22nd October 2009, 10:47 Quote
It is just like the wii, everybody wanted one, got one play a few months and now all of them are eating dust..
Veles 22nd October 2009, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vampalan
Sports games do very well in that department, especially football games here in the UK.

Edit:
Oh and driving games, can't wait for GT5.
And first person shooters...

That's what GH is starting to remind me of, <Insert Sport Here> <Insert Year Here> games. At least with Rock Band they're gonna leave it at RB2 and RB Beatles.

At least with FPS' you get some variety from the differing stories, settings, etc.
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