Well, we hear it all over the industry, Music Genre is failing and this that the other. But what is causing such a decline? What’s stifling the market? And is there a future for the genre?

As for all music games they are peripheral driven, peripherals make up the majority of the expenditure for the consumer. What makes it worse is that these peripherals seem to change as often as the new games come out. I firmly believe that unless a new instrument is added to the roster the peripherals should remain the same through the majority of the consoles life span, this will allow the consumer to have more disposable income for the following parts of my idea of how the music games genre should work in the future.

Of course when the series first appears on a console it should have the pack-in software to use with the instruments, to me this should be the only time that these sort of retail discs should be sold. Now I am not saying that for the remainder of the life cycle that it will only operate through the GH Store with ‘Track-Packs’ but rather along with track packs there could also be Episodic content that would “patch” onto the original game and have a menu to access this new content. This would then allow all music to be transferable through all episodes in the series with ease, as they are after all within the same game. But to access the certain characters/stages/events you will need to go to the specific “Metallica” or “Van Halen” episodic content.

But also imagine that the Hero franchise wasn’t splintered as it is, what if it was centralised and diversified with the specific Episodic Content that I mentioned before. To play DJ or Guitar Hero it is still the same disc in the system but you access different content depending on what peripheral is connected to the console.

I understand that the publishers will feel that this will create a disadvantage through not having store presence, but this is easily overcome by still marketing in-store the episodic content and allowing retailers to carry cards with download codes for each respective system to sell to the consumer. This was easily done with the episodic content for GTA IV, to me it had a great store presence even though it was still a scratch card you were buying with a code.

To me what is causing such a decline in revenue for the genre is that there is brand/accessory confusion along with too many series updates. A new design of peripheral to ‘Fit’ with new episodic content is viable as long as the tech is unchanged and can work with previous content along with future content on the system. This isn’t helped with soo many new “hero” titles in a single fiscal year, in 2009 there was Guitar Hero Smash Hits, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Band Hero and DJ Hero all within the “hero” series, this is flooding the market and in more cases than not, people buy these games for other people but when they go into a store and see soo many different but the same games they don’t know which one to pick so they just leave it.

So yeah, that’s my vision on the future of the Music Game Genre IF it is prone to regular updates like the GH series. Centralised game, episodic content, all peripherals connect to single game accessing specific content and peripherals receive less regular revisions. The future of it all is to streamline the series and deliver content through episodic updates.