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
    Rich, 10 Feb 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: S.O.P.

    No, it is about companies having more "rights" to culture than they should. A right or this use, another for that.

    Paley used songs that were in the PUBLIC DOMAIN, expect that each state has their own individual, bizarre "rights" tacked on. It was legal for her to sell CDs of the music, but to show an image at the same time is somehow different and requires payment.

    The whole system is ridiculous. The idea that you should be continuously paid for work done many years again is beyond illogical. They expect to be able to sell you something and still have complete control over how you use it. You can do this with the music, but if you do that, you owe us more money. I don't owe Subaru money every time I give someone a ride or loan them my car. I don't have to get their permission to paint it a different color or put bigger tires on it. I don't have to pay a "performance fee" to drive it in public.

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