Written by Erik Kubik Tuesday, 22 February 2011 08:00
February 2011 will be remembered by gamers as the month Activision killed off Guitar Hero. With the death of Guitar Hero, gamers have suffered a great loss. Rockband was just too much for Guitar Hero to compete with. People tend to forget that Guitar Hero came first and popularized music games to the masses.
Guitar Hero’s death could have been associated with several notions, from the over-saturation of games (Van Halen/Metallica), or the waning interest in music games. Do we really need Band Hero and DJ Hero? They are only competing with each other in the end. It came down to that the games just were not profitable enough to keep moving forward with Guitar Hero. That brings up a question concerning all gamers, if music games are on the way out, then what is the next game genre to go?
I have the answer, and after listening to the CAGcast I can really see the light. It’s racing games. The racing genre is already suffering despite a few hit games. Not stuff like Mario Kart, that doesn’t qualify as a racing game. During this last summer a handful of great racing games came out, including Modnation Racers, Blur, and Split/Second. In the last half of the year gamers received Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Gran Turismo 5. What’s wrong with this picture? The only games that sold well were Need for Speed and Gran Turismo 5.
Why? Well, both Gran Turismo and Need for Speed are long running franchises with very successful track records. These are the games people have been waiting for. Blur, Split/Second and Modnation Racers were new IPs that had to square off against each other and other popular games. They were fun games, and some of them had great new concepts, but gamers’ didn’t seem to be willing to give them a chance. Could this be attributed to partial over saturation? Well it has not reached the Guitar Hero Level yet. I think it comes down to interest in the games.
It seems that for now gamers are interested in successful franchise games. Whether this is the latest Call of Duty, another Assassin’s Creed sequel, Madden, or action RPGS the window for racing games to succeed is shrinking.