Gamasutra’s chart fiend Matt Matthews has got hold of the revenue generated by the sale of music games over the past three years, and the decline in the genre is staggering.
In 2008, music games – think series like Rock Band, Guitar Hero, SingStar & DJ Hero – made over $US1.6 billion. In 2009, that dropped by almost half, down to $US870 million, and in 2010, well…things are looking even worse.
From January through to October, music games have yet to break the $US250 million mark. Which considering this is a year which has seen Rock Band 3, a new Guitar Hero game and a new DJ Hero title is dismal reading.
Sure, some of that comes from the fact people invested in the more expensive instrument bundles early on, then only bought subsequent standalone games. But only some.
These numbers don’t lie. The music genre as we know it is dead. People have clearly lost interest. All those plastic instruments that took up a bunch of space, cost a ton of money and had you playing the same “hit the buttons in time with the coloured dot” game over and over for 3-4 years have clearly had their time in the sun.
The future of the genre, clearly, lies in games that are slimmer. That are just games, that you buy, and can play, without the need for proprietary controllers. The runaway success of Just Dance on the Wii is proof of this, as is the early success of Dance Central on Kinect.
Which fans of dancing and singing covered, but you have to wonder what Kinect can possibly do for lovers of music that’s a little heavier. Air Guitar Hero, perhaps? Stranger things have happened.