From the early goings, it looks like the second wave of Beatles-mania hasn’t yet caught on with today’s youth. And the older folks who experienced the first wave of the invasion are either buying the new DVDs (also released on September 9th) or are too far in the financial hole to invest in the $250 bundle. Even the $60 stand-alone game, which works just fine with any old Rock Band or Guitar Hero instruments, is getting clobbered by Activision’s Guitar Hero 5.
Although Harmonix created Guitar Hero, the brand that Activision has built has become a monster in the music gaming genre. Rock Band, while first with the full band experience, has been playing catch-up in the sales department ever since. Guitar Hero 5 features a slew of new songs and artists, but it’s essentially the same experience. And gamers are just fine with that.
As we’ve seen with Wii and the continued success of Wii Sports, older gamers aren’t as enthusiastic when it comes to upgrading to new games, let alone new bundles. That’s why the pack-in Wii Sports game continues to be a mainstay at many homes — and why other Wii games have found difficulty in trying to captivate that same audience.
Activision is also giving away Guitar Hero Van Halen to anyone who buys Guitar Hero 5 in September, which is a nice incentive that seems to be working. As Christmas approaches, The Beatles should entice more older gamers to make the plunge (if they haven’t already) at least for the $60 game. It makes more sense as a Christmas gift than as a diehard gamer’s must-have purchase on launch day.
One thing MTV Games did do successfully at launch was permeate the airwaves, web and print magazines with The Beatles. But not even that overkill marketing has made much of a dent against the Guitar Hero phenomenon. Sales for Guitar Hero 5 are 5 to 1 verses The Beatles: Rock Band.