Declining interest in music games set to continue

Written by Joe Martin

October 26, 2009 // 11:26 a.m.

Tags: #activision #declining-interest-in-music-games-continues #dj-hero #music

Analysts from Cowan and Company are claiming that the declining interest in music games, which was evidenced earlier this year by the poor September performance of key Activision and EA titles, may well continue into the future.

The main reason for the slowing sales is the high price of equipment-heavy games, said Cowan and Company's Doug Creutz in a comment to GI.biz, as well as the fading buzz over the Guitar Hero franchise.

Activision's new deck-based music game, DJ Hero, is set to be an early casualty according to Creutz, who says that demand for the title is well below expectations and that the title may struggle to even be a modest success.

"On DJ Hero, despite some recent positive comments from company management about pre-orders, we remain very cautious about the title's prospects at launch," said Creutz.

"A survey of online retailers indicates a demand profile that is well below what we would have expected to see just a few days before launch for a title that was destined to be a big (or even modest) success."

Creutz has since slashed expected sales for DJ Hero by more than one million customers in the fourth quarter, bringing full year sales down from an ambitious 2.5 million to just 950,000. Ouch!

"We probably underestimated the extent to which the 2007-08 peak in Guitar Hero unit sales was driven by the extreme amount of buzz around the product,” offered Creutz. “In retrospect Guitar Hero III likely attracted a lot of one-time buyers (that have not returned for subsequent franchise instalments) due to its 'it-game' status at the time."

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