Monday, June 09, 2008

Rock Band #112

With the announcement of the "World Tour" version of Guitar Hero coming this fall, along with the announcement of Guitar Hero: Metallica, the Rock Band forums have imploded. I usually check the forums every couple of days, and when I returned this week I was shocked by how the tone has changed. If you believe what's being written there, Rock Band as a franchise is doomed.

Um, why exactly?

Look. Right now, these games have distinctly different objectives from a marketing standpoint. What Activision is trying to do right now is stop any more people from buying Rock Band before Guitar Hero 4 comes out this fall. They want to make as many splashy announcements as possible, and they want to do it right now. Rock Band is still selling extremely well, and they want to blunt that momentum.

Harmonix doesn't need to do that. Rock Band is already out there. Even if someone wanted to buy Guitar Hero 4 instead of Rock Band, they couldn't, at least not now.

What Harmonix needs to focus on in terms of marketing is making announcements toward the end of summer, or even early fall, as it gets closer to the time when people will actually be able to buy Guitar Hero 4. And I'm sure they'll have them--there is no way that Viacom (MTV's parent company) can afford to let the game wither, because based on their last quarter's results, it's become a major growth driver.

I'm hoping for a redesigned drum kit that doesn't feel like hitting concrete. Oh, and Led Zeppelin would be nice, too (I got to play "Kashmir" in my drum lesson last week).

Site Meter