“Guitar Hero: Metallica” May Be The Right Game At The Wrong Time

A couple of weeks back, we asked if the success of Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been overstated—that perhaps in the media’s endless search to find the new “something other than albums will save the record industry!” story, some obvious shortcomings were being overlooked. Well, as it turns out, these concerns were not misplaced. Electronic Arts, publishers of Rock Band, has issued another profit warning, and reports “disappointing sales figures,” while Guitar Hero is expected to see a 50% drop in unit sales. It’s not surprising that $200 games might not be doing too well in a down economy. But, despite Activision’s claims that that games are good for artists, they’re apparently not good enough: Edgar Bronfman is demanding more money for licensing songs for gameplay, claiming that they don’t bring in enough money per track. And into this gloomy environment steps Metallica, who are getting their own edition of Guitar Hero.

As with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, the band will appear in the game, and have attended a motion-capture session that will get their particular moves into the game. But the non-Metallica songs in the game will have a real connection to the band:

About 40% of the 45-plus songs will be from artists that influenced Metallica, played concerts with them or appeared on 1998 covers album Garage Inc. Among them: Queen, the Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Kyuss and Samhain.

Very exciting! Also exciting: you can purchase a double kick drum pedal to really be like Lars.

First look: Metallica gets ‘Guitar Hero’ treatment [USA Today]
Rock Games Singing Sad Songs, Waltzes [Songs For Soap]

  • Ned Raggett

    Is there going to be a ‘sue Napster’ level?

  • unperson

    I think you should be able to choose who’s playing bass for the band – Cliff, Jason or Rob.

  • Marth

    Perhaps a level of FPS gameplay where you need to destroy Bob Rock and whoever recorded …And Justice For All?

  • Audif Jackson Winters III

    @unperson: There’s a rumor that there’s a hidden, unlockable boss duel battle with the reanimated corpse of Cliff Burton.

  • MayhemintheHood

    Is the double bass pedal remark true? That’d be sweet.

  • Mike Barthel

    @MayhemintheHood: that’s what the article says! I’m stoked.

  • Mick Kraut

    @Audif Jackson Winters III: I heard there was a flash pot accessory as well for authenticity sake.

  • SomeSound-MostlyFury

    Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2 didn’t sell well because they both produced what essentially was the exact same game with a simultaneous release schedule. They even shared a ridiculous amount of songs between the two — something like almost 20% of the overall track list. Not to mention a jacked up price point selling peripherals that everyone already had.

    Electronic Arts earnings were down mostly because of other games besides Rock Band that didn’t do well — Rock Band is a relatively small part of their stable of games.

    I don’t think these findings are particularly indicative of the overall success of rhythm based music games. The fact that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, a game based entirely around a band that is pretty much invisible in the youth marketplace today, even exists is a testament to how much money is plunked down on this stuff on a regular basis. Just check out the staggering amount of downloadable add-ons to the Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles that are sold online. Awful songs by awful no name bands sell for $2 a song, just because they carry the Guitar Hero name.

  • Audif Jackson Winters III

    I don’t know much about the video game industry, but aren’t these games slow, steady sellers? As opposed to huge blockbusters like GTA IV, which sell 75 percent or more of their total copies within the first 2 or 3 weeks of release?

  • janine

    @SomeSound-MostlyFury: Mirror’s Edge or Need For Speed Undercover could have been the titles that burned EA.

  • Lucas Jensen

    @janine: And I wonder how Dead Space and Army of Two did. They have tried to launch a number of new IPs. I think it’s not fair to blame Rock Band 2, though it’s price tag is prohibitive.

  • Captain Wrong

    Sure, EA has had some other flops this year, but I gotta wonder if people are getting over the Guitar Hero/Rock Band thing. The used stores around here are glutted with plastic guitars and I’ve already seen GH:Areosmith and the latest Rock Band track packs on clearance at Target.

  • janine

    @Lucas Jensen: Man, I forgot about Army of Two. Yipes. Not a good year at all.

    @Captain Wrong: It’ll be interesting to see what happens. This year saw a huge increase in gaming by people who’d never play a video game otherwise but enjoy Rock Band, Guitar Hero, etc. It remains to be seen if that segment sticks around, affecting not only rhythm games but also your Wii Fits & what have you.

  • Lucas Jensen

    @janine: Actually, I heard that the sales of Dead Space were good. I like that EA is at least trying with new IPs. Sometimes the second iterations blow up. I liked the Mirrors Edge demo quite a bit. Waiting to play the full thing.

  • janine

    @Lucas Jensen: Yeah, I think dead Space was huge. I laugh at Army of Two, because if you’re going to have a game heavily dependent on co-op, the AI should be sub moronic. The plot for Mirror’s Edge was less then stellar (“Let’s get the man! Erm, I don’t need to tell you know why!”), I would have preferred Parkour ’08, Madden style. A different city every edition or something.

    But hey, when the economy collapses and I’ll be forced to burn my guitars for heat and boil my ps3 for soup, I’ll have bigger fish to fry.

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