When asked to come up with a list of genres that got over-saturated way too quickly, I'm willing to bet that most Ranters will have the music genre in their top three, if not at number one. Sure, there were plenty of music games before Guitar Hero even existed, but that title really brought the genre to the masses like no other title before it. In the past few years, the industry has seen more than it's fair share of games that have their own plastic instrument peripherals. According to Doug Creutz, an analyst for the Cowen Group, the days of the music genre's reign are quickly coming to an end.
Recent releases from Activision Blizzard, DJ Hero 2 and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock met the market with a "soft launch", which signaled the Cowen Group to decrease sales estimates for both titles. Notes Creutz:
"We expect the two Hero titles to struggle to sell 1 million units combined in the U.S. during Q4 2010, versus our prior expectation of roughly 2.5 million total U.S. Hero units. The only silver lining is that the music genre should cease to be a focus of investor concerns as it has now become fairly immaterial to overall results."
Is Creutz talking about the death of music games? Maybe not. It seems as though the key to the success, according to Creutz at least, would be to partner up with Viacom.
"Activision's best option at this point would be to approach Viacom with [the] idea of (re)merging the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises through a sale or joint venture agreement."
EA's Rock Band games have traditionally scored as well, if not better than their Guitar Hero competitors. Even the third entry is held in high regard here at Game Rant. With that being said, I'm hard pressed to believe Activision and Viacom will ever come to any sort of agreement. Either way, I don't really care if any agreement comes to fruition or not. As a gamer I really enjoy music games, but I only want to buy a new set of instruments once, maybe twice a generation. Similarly, there's no need to purchase new discs; all platforms are more than capable of delivering DLC track packs and even new game modes to gamers.
What do you think, Ranters? What would you like to see from the music genre? Which company do you think is handling the genre right, and which company is doing it wrong? Hit us up in the comments below.
DJ Hero 2, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and Rock Band 3 are out now.