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10 Trends in Music Games


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This is a presentation I gave at the Reeperbahn Campus conference in Hamburg on 24th September 2009, looking at current trends in music games. It's very much an overview - the intention was to provide sparkpoints for a panel session following my bit.

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10 Trends in Music Games

  1. 1. 10 TRENDS IN MUSIC AND GAMES Are games the new rock’n’roll?
  2. 2. 1. Cash cow... <ul><li>Third most popular genre behind general action and multiple/sports </li></ul><ul><li>Guitar Hero: 35m sales, $2bn+ revenues, 40m song downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Rock Band: 10m sales, $1bn+ revenues, 60m song downloads </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. ...or Bursting Bubble? <ul><li>US sales down 46% so far this year and down 6% in 2008 (NPD Group) </li></ul><ul><li>BUT – this was before Q4 with new games </li></ul>
  4. 4. 2. Downloadable content (DLC) <ul><li>Guitar Hero: more than 40m song downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Rock Band: more than 60m song downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Tap Tap Revenge – 500k weekly downloads for featured track </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. Downloadable content (DLC) <ul><li>Exclusives: Beatles All You Need Is Love for Xbox 360 </li></ul><ul><li>Full albums: Pearl Jam, Metallica, Judas Priest, Pixies </li></ul><ul><li>Small beans next to 8.5bn iTunes sales, but growing... </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Downloadable content (DLC) <ul><li>Next big thing: DIY downloads with Rock Band Network </li></ul><ul><li>Open to labels and artists – IF they have a trained developer </li></ul><ul><li>Solves bottleneck at Harmonix to get tracks live </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3. Squabbles over money <ul><li>WMG: “The amount being paid to the music industry - even though their games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control - is far too small.” </li></ul><ul><li>Activision: “There’s a misunderstanding of the value we bring to the catalogue... you sort of question whether or not, in the case of those kinds of products, you should be paying any money at all and whether it should be the reverse.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. 4. Broadening out <ul><li>Genre started as rock-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Now broadening out – DJ Hero for dance, Scratch for hip-hop </li></ul><ul><li>DLC for Rock Band bringing in funk and hip-hop </li></ul><ul><li>Karaoke and kids games remain focused on pop </li></ul>
  9. 9. 5. Artist-specific games <ul><li>Guitar Hero games for Metallica, Aerosmith and Van Halen </li></ul><ul><li>The Beatles: Rock Band – first digital Fab Four music product </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone: Tap Tap Coldplay, Lady GaGa Revenge, Christmas With Weezer </li></ul>
  10. 10. 5. Artist-specific games <ul><li>Music games also being used to break new artists </li></ul><ul><li>Gedda-Headz – iPhone/mobile gaming community based on new hip-hop group </li></ul><ul><li>Dance Fabulous – Nokia introduces Cindy Gomez to the world </li></ul>
  11. 11. 6. Going mobile <ul><li>Tap Tap Revenge – 15m downloads on iPhone </li></ul><ul><li>Guitar Hero III Mobile – 3m+ downloads, has downloadable content </li></ul><ul><li>Rock Band just went mobile through EA </li></ul><ul><li>Guitar Hero and Rock Band have PSP/DS versions too </li></ul>
  12. 12. 7. Going online <ul><li>JamLegend – Guitar Hero for the web </li></ul><ul><li>Hit Machine – Rock Band for the web </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of licensing may come to fore </li></ul>
  13. 13. 8. Song library access <ul><li>Games tapping into players’ own libraries of music </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone 3.0 makes this increasingly common </li></ul><ul><li>AudioSurf turns tracks into... tracks! </li></ul><ul><li>Hitting music licensing revenues? </li></ul>
  14. 14. 9. Creating music <ul><li>Guitar Hero World Tour studio – 250k uploads and 17m downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Riddim Ribbon – remix by playing then share the results </li></ul><ul><li>Leaf Trombone – 2k uploaded scores </li></ul><ul><li>Beaterator – PSP music creation with Timbaland </li></ul>
  15. 15. 9. Creating music <ul><li>Licensing issues around players uploading cover versions of songs </li></ul><ul><li>Easy option: ban covers </li></ul><ul><li>Harder but more rewarding to find a model to reward rights-owners </li></ul>
  16. 16. 10. Mash-ups <ul><li>DJ Hero – licensing songs in pairs to be mixed into new tune </li></ul><ul><li>But more controversial: Kurt Cobain does Bon Jovi – but Courtney Love didn’t approve </li></ul>
  17. 17. Thankyou! <ul><li>Stuart Dredge – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Music Ally – </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone Games Bulletin – </li></ul>