Music games and irresponsible sequeling

Recently in the VGAs, Rockband Greenday was announced. Soon Guitar Hero: Van Halen will make it to the stores.

The music genre has been probably the most succesful new genre of the last 10 years and both EA and activision have taken good profit out of this. Activision has released 5 Guitar Hero, Band Hero, DJ Hero (the only one to try out smtg new) and ungodly amounts of Guitar Hero of this group or another. EA has released Rock Band 1 & 2 and another good set of band exclusive games (without counting LEGO).

These kind of games are losing their commercial push and more and more people who own one don’t find the need to buy another, especially now that they could just release new DLCs instead… The market has been saturated with these games and people have become wary of that. I myself have played many hours on both titles and enjoyed just as much. I only bought World Tour though because I had a friend that used to buy them all. The thing is that he has bought Guitar Hero 5 in what he called a moment of weakness and consumism desire. He has hardly gone through the first gig and he has already left it and is talking of selling the whole set. Activision has been more irresponsible than EA with sequels but has had its fair trade doing band spinoffs. Many similar cases come to my mind of games that launched sequels of games that felt more like an expansion on a yearly basis like, for example, Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider was a revolutionary game and showed that you didn’t have to be Miyamoto to do an excellent 3D game adventure-platformer. The thing is it finished tiring players by launching a yearly game. Eidos should have learned from that experience when they handed the series to Crystal Dynamics (which did an excellent job with Legend) but it seems they are still trying milk the dead cow. Tomb Raider is still successful but it isn’t half of what it should be.

Blizzard is an example of how you treat a series… every new installement sells more than its predecessor as it turns its games into legends. Guess how many games will Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 sell and add another couple million.

All these games would benefit from a much smarter management. It is true that a yearly game means more immediate benefits while the game is fresh in gamer’s minds but on the long run it can mean spoiling a good series.

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