Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Guitar Hero Editorial, Part II

Less Talk, More Rock
    I don't even understand why executives talk sometimes. They've got something good going for them, but then they open their mouths and blow it half the time. Don't you remember how much fun game journalists were having listening to Ken Kutaragi utter completely ridiculous statements about the PlayStation 3? Those were good times. These are stupid times.

    Where does Activision get off calling Rock Band an "imitator" of the Guitar Hero franchise? Today, (June 6, 2007), marks the one-year anniversary of Activision owning RedOctane, the true publisher of the Guitar Hero franchise. They didn't start the series, they just took it over halfway through, and in my opinion, they've been running it into the ground a little bit, but I'll withhold true judgment until Guitar Hero III.

    Besides, Rock Band is made by the people who started Guitar Hero, Harmonix, so it doesn't make sense to call them imitators. Not only that, but Rock Band isn't just some cheap knock-off trying to cash in on the fad (like Saint's Row cashing in on the GTA-craze). Rock Band is trying to elaborate on what Guitar Hero has been doing.

    Look at the premise of Guitar Hero: Feel like the lead guitarist in a band. That's awesome. Look at the premise of Rock Band: START A ROCK BAND. That's even better! A smarter argument to use against Rock Band would've been to accuse Harmonix of just combining games together, but that still doesn't really work.

    Anyway, like the 1UP article mentioned, Guitar Hero itself is just an imitator of the Guitar Freaks franchise, which I'm sure is an imitator of another videogame (if not, then an imitator of an actual guitar). It'd be like Vanilla Ice complaining that somebody ripped off his "Ice Ice Baby" song.

    I don't see the benefit of them speaking out at all though. If they bash Rock Band, then they get the confused, negative reaction that they're now getting. If they praise Rock Band, sure, they'll be noble, but that might create more hype for Rock Band, something Activision simply doesn't want.

    Really, all it shows is that they're scared. They're afraid that people are going to gravitate toward Rock Band since it offers more, and rightly so. But the way to go about fighting Rock Band is the smart way, by which I mean just get better songs than Rock Band could dream of. That's the only way to win, since the quality of games like this is contingent on the quality of the songs in the game.

    To make a long story short, Activision needs to just be quiet. Spend less time making stupid arguments that don't make sense and more time licensing songs that we'll like.

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