No more avoiding it: Interest in “music games” like Rock Band (VIA) and Guitar Hero (ATVI), a white-hot fad throughout 2008, has started to fade.
So what next? Each of the two mega-selling franchises has differnent plans. Via the LA Times:
Hwang, who acknowledged that sales in North America were starting to cool, said the company would make a big push in Europe and Asia by adding bands from those regions to its song lineups. He also said Activision would launch games targeted at discrete music genres, segmenting the market the same way the music industry sells records under separate labels.
The splintering of games means no individual title is likely to rival Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which generated an unprecedented $1 billion in sales for a single title
Viacom is hoping on more song downloads, and the upcoming Beatles-themed edition of Rock Band.
“As we move forward in 2009, we will be more focused on the software side of the business for Rock Band, which enjoys significantly better margins,” Viacom Chief Financial Officer Thomas Dooley said in February during an earnings call with analysts.
MTV also is betting that the Sept. 9 release of its game based on music from the Beatles will help rescue the franchise from a hard day’s night battling Guitar Hero for market share. Rock Band continues to trail Guitar Hero, which enjoyed a two-year head start.