Yesterday during an analyst conference, Activision CEO Mike Griffith announced that the publisher is going to refocus its rhythm games into two main franchises, Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. According to Griffith, this will help Activision reach a “broader audience.”
In 2010 Activision plans to release less than ten music game SKUs. While that still sounds like a lot, it’s not even half of what 2009 saw. Griffith explained, “This year, fewer SKUs will service a broader audience.”
To clarify each SKU refers to one retail package. For example a new Guitar Hero released on both Xbox 360 and PS3 counts as two SKUs. Also different packages, like a Guitar Hero game plus guitar controller versus just the Guitar Hero game, counts as two different SKUs.
Out of the ten SKUs planned for 2010, almost all of those will be various packages of Guitar Hero and DJ Hero titles. One reason for the cut back on SKUs is that Activision will no longer release Guitar Hero games on the PS2. According to Activision the PS2 no longer generates the sales numbers to make it a valid platform.
Personally I think this is great news. My biggest problem with rhythm games is just that the market is over saturated. We don’t need three different Guitar Hero games in one year, all of which using the same technology. I mean if you’re going to release three games, all in the same genre, in the same year, you better hope there are some significant improvements with each release. Hopefully there is a correlation between cutting down on the number of games and an improvement in overall quality of the experience they offer.
What do you guys think? Will cutting down on the number of Guitar Hero games help improve sales numbers or quality?