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 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    Seriously, as a culture, we should do everything we can to avoid buying content that's not released under some reasonable license.

    Perhaps to curve the 95+ year copy protection lengths, people should start writing content that either enters the public domain or is permissibly licensed after 5 years or so. It's copyright for the first 5 years, and then it's not. The license should come with the content so that there is no opportunity to later change ones mind. Otherwise, we are buying content that will be lost to history with future generations being unable to access it.

    So much popular content, like the Beach Boys and the Beatles, should have been in the public domain a long time ago but it isn't (it's been like 40 years or so). Sure, this content (because of its extreme popularity) might survive copy'right' oppression, but a lot of less popular music may not. To preserve our cultural history, we need to ensure to adopt a culture that is preservable, not one that can easily vanish in history due to oppressive laws.

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