Did The Record Labels Kill The Golden Goose In Music Video Games?

from the of-course-they-did... dept

For the last decade or so, every year the major record labels seem to bet on some single "magic bullet" to fix all that ails them. They go through phases. There was their own crappy DRM'd and locked-down music stores. There were ringtones. And... there were music video games like Guitar Hero and Rockband. And, of course, as soon as those games actually started helping the recording industry, the industry decided to suck them dry. Edgar Bronfman kicked it off by declaring angrily that those games had to pay much more to license the music -- even though the music in those games tended to lead to much greater sales of albums for those artists.

And now it looks like the labels may have succeeded in bleeding those types of games dry. With Activision announcing that it was dumping Guitar Hero, one of the major reasons given is the high cost of licensing music. Yup, the labels priced things so high that they made it impractical to actually offer any more. Yet another case of the labels overvaluing their own content. Now, it's also true that these games haven't evolved that much, and people haven't seen the point of buying new versions, but part of that lack of evolving is because so much of the budget had to go towards overpaying for music, rather than innovating.

Filed Under: guitar hero, music, video games
Companies: activision

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't a question of copying word for word, Mike has an opinion and I have no problem with his opinion, right or wrong. I can discussion opinion any time.

    What is annoying is when he intentionally mis-represents things, or carefully leaves out things that would undercut his opinion. In this case the quote on licensing isn't even a quote in the original Wired article, it is an non-quoted attribution from the writer.

    When you look at the press release from Activision (which is what I would have expect Mike to do) they don't mention licensing at all, just a market that is disappearing. Since other "music game" companies are seeing the same results, it would appear to be about the market, and nothing else.

    With hundreds of people on the payroll and a product who's last update only pushed out about 60,000 copies, you can tell which way the wind is blowing.

    Market forces are like that. Playing games to try to attribute it to something else is only because it meets up with Mike's view of the universe, not the facts as presented.

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