02 January 2008

Random Suggestions for Random Corporations (Activision and Harmonix in this Case)

I bought Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock for the Wii, have enjoyed it, beat it on easy, got tired of trying to beat it on medium (I know, I suck), and haven't picked it up for a few weeks.

While all the crunchy guitar oriented Southern Rock, and Metal makes a lot of sense for a title called "Legends of Rock", there's a lot of music out there, and a lot of music fans that aren't particular keen on listening to Lynyrd Skynrd or Metallica over and over again.

Here's what I want to see released shortly, a funktastic bass heavy release aimed at a seriously underserved audience. Imagine thumping out bass lines along with Bootsy to One Nation Under a Groove, or getting irie with Bob Marley and I Shot the Sheriff. Even straight up instrumental jazz like Miles Davis' So What, or Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island have some tasty bass licks with which plenty of players would enjoy mimicking.

Rock Band especially needs to broaden their selections, given that they are pursuing a strong downloadable content sales strategy for the PS3 and XBox360, it would make a lot of sense to offer musical experiences that are lacking from the main game.

In other words Harmonix and Activision, your games are great, their fun, and they have a great deal of appeal, but they are blindingly, lily white, and that ain't right. Add a little soul to the mix, it won't hurt, and it may just tap into a whole other audience of music fans that are just itching to live their Rock Star dreams while belting out a James Brown, Jackie Wilson or Funkadelic tune.

Videogame players cross many demographic boundaries, so should your music selections.

1 comment:

Pastor_Jeff said...

Amen, brother!

I'm at the same place as you on GHIII for Wii. In general, I could do with less thrash metal. And for a game subtitled "Legends of Rock," it's awful heavy on stuff from the last five years. You've got songs no one will be playing in 10 years, but there's no Hendrix?!? What about Bob Marley? Chuck Berry? B. B. King? And I'd vote for some bass-heavy funk, too.

I read recently that somebody has cracked the Wii code. If you want to make this the coolest and most popular game ever, figure out how to let people convert their MP3s into game files.

Failing that, Activision could create an expanded online library of downloadable songs which people pay for. They're sitting on a goldmine.