This is a welcome development. Just one month after Activision killed their popular but money-losing Guitar Hero franchise, Ubisoft is entering the music genre video games business with their upcoming title, Rocksmith. Compared to Guitar Hero 6: Warriors of Rock, Rocksmith music video game will be played with real electric guitars and is focused on authentic music training, unlike the former where you’re fiddling a fancy toy guitar. On the other hand, Rockband 3 offered the first electric guitar for players when it released the video game late in 2010. Although not as good as real professional guitars used by rock stars, Rock Band 3 package became an instant hit to people wanting a real music training. And that’s cool, too.
Tony Key, Ubisoft Senior Vice President for Marketing says Rocksmith will not suffer the same sad fate of Guitar Hero precisely because “Guitar Hero is a party Game. Rocksmith is a music experience.” He points out that pushing buttons on plastic toy guitar might be fun but it doesn’t give any one real guitar playing experience that is why Guitar Hero eventually lost its appeal.
Rocksmith is the first game to showcase Ubisoft’s new mission of creating “games with benefits.” Key compares Rocksmith with the widely successful Nintendo Wii Fit game.While the former provides a fun way to keep your body fit, Rocksmith aims to give people an enjoyable method to learn the guitar.
Ubisoft is already negotiating with guitar manufacturers like Gibson and Fender to package Rocksmith with an electric guitar for $200.00. But if you already have a guitar, you can just buy the game because it when will have a free input jack that will let any electric guitar easily plug into a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet if Ubisoft will also support the Nintendo Wii.
Gameplay is comparable to Guitar Hero 6 but in Rocksmith, you are required to strum and pick real notes and chords on an actual guitar. Rocksmith’s logic lets it learn the skill level of the player and will adjust itself to accommodate the player. The objective of this game is to gradually increase the difficulty as the player improves his guitar playing skill.
Ubisoft has set a release date for Rocksmith and it’s this coming September 2011 for both the PS3 and Xbox 360. It will have an initial collection of 45 songs from the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, The Animals and David Bowie. Ubisoft is however in negotiation with different musicians. Key reveals they are having an easy time convincing bands to allow them use their music for a much cheaper licensing fee.
As we all know, Guitar Hero, while it sold almost $2.8 billion in its 6 solid years of existence, never gave Activision any profit due to the exorbitant royalty fees charged by record companies and musicians!