I like video games. I like turntables. I like DJ Shadow, I like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, the Scratch Perverts. Yet I’ve thought DJ Hero was a stupid idea from the moment the series was first announced.
Not only did its lumping together of hip-hop, dance and electronica dilute the series’ focus, but being a DJ adhering to something with scores and failures just seemed…faintly ridiculous. Maybe that’s why the series didn’t sell so well! That’s certainly what Activision boss Bobby Kotick thinks, at any rate.
“…we should have said, ‘Well, how many people really want to unleash their inner DJ?'”, Kotick tells Forbes in an interview. “And then out of the people who do want to unleash their inner DJ, how many want to do it in the context of a game where you earn points, versus just taking a DJ deck or tools on their Macintosh and actually being a DJ? And it turns out it’s a very small market.”
Kotick even goes so far as to lay part of the blame for Guitar Hero’s demise at the feet of DJ Hero, saying “going down this new direction with DJ Hero, I think we abandoned a bit of the innovation that was required in the Guitar Hero franchise.”
Kotick may not have addressed all the reasons for the sharp decline in music game sales – the fact there were just too many games released too quickly was surely the main catalyst – but genuinely fessing up to any mistakes in a public forum is always appreciated from a gaming executive.