In 2006 and 2007, scrolling-note music games (Guitar Hero and Rock Band) were all the rage. Adults were actually playing them at social parties where a video game is normally unheard of and every parent had to have one of these things for their kids. They were hot.
Today, that fad is over. DJ Hero looks like a great product, yet it is a sales flop. People are blaming the pricing and marketing… That’s all wrong. That stuff matters, but the biggest issue is that most people just don’t care about scrolling note music games any more. Sure, there are some latecomers just now joining last year’s (or two years ago’s) fad, and there are many enthusiasts who want more of the same (like Beatles Rock Band), but the masses have moved on.
Same thing with cartoon mascot platformers or falling block puzzle games or GTA or car racing simulators. The games kept getting better at what they did while the public zeitgest grew bored with them and moved on to something newer.
Games have to strike while the iron is hot. Timing is often more important than quality. Look at GTA clones: True Crime, Driv3r, and Scarface. The first two were horrible, horrible games that shipped right at the peak of the fad and got tons of excitement and sales. The third was a polished, well executed game that shipped after the public was tired of that fad and the game was largely ignored.
Written by: Darrin
- Contributing Editor