Activision CEO Suggests Record Labels Should Be Paying To Get In Video Games

from the this-ought-to-be-fun dept

Remember a couple months ago, when Warner Music’s Edgar Bronfman complained that the makers of video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band should be paying more for the music they used? He claimed, incorrectly, that the games were “entirely dependent” on the record labels’ content. That was wrong, and totally downplayed the fact that the video games were actually adding value to the music. Now it appears that the maker of Guitar Hero, Activision, is hitting back. The company’s CEO is pointing out how much being in those games has helped bands, suggesting that its really the record labels that are getting too good of a deal:

“When you look at the impact [the game] can have on an Aerosmith, Van Halen or Metallica, it’s really significant — so much so that you sort of question whether or not, in the case of those kinds of products, you should be paying any money at all and whether it should be the reverse. The bulk of our consumers will tell you they’re not purchasing the products based on the songs that are included, they’re purchasing based on how fun the songs are to play when they’re playing them.”

He’s exactly right. The content industry always seem to over estimate how much “value” the content provides and almost totally ignore the value provided by anyone else in the value chain. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, but I would bet that the video game companies have the stronger hand here, and despite Bronfman’s statements, the record labels really understand that.

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Companies: activision, warner music

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Comments on “Activision CEO Suggests Record Labels Should Be Paying To Get In Video Games”

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20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

What about Valve/Steam?

Well, this idea runs opposite of other games out there where customers can bring their music to the game.

Valve/Steam AudioSurf for example. The creator of Guitar Hero said to the creator of AudioSurf something like “We wouldn’t ever let people bring content to our game because they will mess it up”.

In other news, Valve was acquired by Google.
http://www.inquisitr.com/3375/google-may-have-acquired-half-live-creator-valve/

[Facepalm] Isn’t Redmond 5 miles from Bellevue, WA?

Oh well. Seems like Google’s on the prowl again. If Activsion thinks it’s worthless, oh well.

Rik (profile) says:

Old Digitally-Analphabetic Men

About those Music Studio execs …
Well on one hand I tend to believe that they are a combination of “Digitally analphabetic” (not even able to start up a PC) and extremely greedy.
On the other hand maybe they realized that their business is disappearing as their business model is outdated and they try to bring in whatever they can get still …

Dom says:

True!

I never even knew “Through the fire and flames – Dragonforce”, and what about now? I reckon many people were like myself before guitar hero appeared. It’s one of the most famous songs now.

I hope guitar hero won’t become one of these crappy games, containing many of these crappy new pop songs, where hardly a guitar is even played, just because it was well paid…

This way, the company had the control over which songs are used, because they wanted them.

J.Locke says:

Activision is a content publisher, not creator

Just a technical note, Activision doesnt make guitar hero, much like a record company, Activision doesnt actually make much of anything, they are a publisher. Harmonix invented the game, but Neversoft I believe is the current developer. Someone else correct me if I am wrong here?

Yakko Warner says:

Re: Activision is a content publisher, not creator

If Wikipedia is to be believed, Activision and RedOctane publish Guitar Hero, developed by Harmonix until Guitar Hero III, which was developed by Neversoft.

Related: MTV Games publishes and EA distributes Rock Band, developed by Harmonix.

I couldn’t find from there, though, exactly who is involved in the licensing deals for the music; whether it’s the developer, publisher, or distributor.

JEFFREY TOBIAS (user link) says:

CREATORS OF MUSIC,HAVE EVERY RIGHT

IF A BAND,CREATES A SONG,THE HELL WITH THE CEO,OF VIVENDI,DONT PLAY,THE MUSICAL GAMES,BECAUSE THE CREATORS,DECIDED,PUT UP,OR SHUT UP.EDGAR IS RIGHT,GO SUE THE PANTS OUT OF VIVENDI,OR DONT,SELL THE MUSICAL GAMES,GOT IT? I OWN,MANY SONGS,I WOULD,SAY HEY,PLEASE DONT SELL THE GAMES,ITS MY MUSIC I CREATED,HIT VIVENDI,IN ITS POCKETBOOK HARD,JEFFREY

Anonymous Coward says:

I guess games can afford now to put whatever music they want inside and hire their own guns they don’t need the labels.

I was just mesmerized at the 2010 crop of games at E3, I was viewing them at Youtube and they actually have stories, compelling ones and the graphics are gorgeous, why would anyone want to watch TV with such alternatives?

Enslaved
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG4oLZR3Qx8

Splatterhouse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhtqHAkKrdc

Interactive movies are a reality right now and they could launch bands or break them.

Just give it time an the labels will be begging for game studios to put their music in there.

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