News that Activision has decided pull the plug on its iconic Guitar Hero game is unlikely to quell the flow of music games released onto the market.
As a result of declining sales, the firm has said that it could not justify churning out new versions that were not selling as well as they did at the peak of the market just a few years ago.
Guitar Hero gave users the opportunity to become a rock star, but with its plastic guitar controllers and colour-coded buttons the game does not require any real music skills, just some hand-eye co-ordination.
Players can pick from a broad selection of songs, with some versions, paying tribute to specific bands or genres. The Beatles: Rock Band, for example, which was launched in 2009, was credited for exposing the fab-four to a whole new audience.
And while many deride the games as failing to help develop musicians, they can be a good way for individuals to learn skills required to play a real instrument – such as dexterity, inter-limb co-ordination, pitch and rhythm.
Despite this apparent fall in interest in recent times, the video game genre remains popular; with an increasing number of users simply switching platforms in keeping with the release of new technology.
Many people these days play music-inspired games on the iPhone, many of which also help individuals develop skills that can be transferred to a real instrument.
“Music games, rhythm games, have been around since sticks and logs,” Stephen Jacobs, associate professor of interactive games and media at Rochester Institute of Technology, told the Associated Press.
“They are not going away by any stretch of the imagination. But like with many ‘new’ games, when you are lucky in the industry you hit a chord, you hit a moment and you are the thing.”
Innovation is key to the survival and progression of the music industry and games are likely to play an important role in its future. As they become ever more interactive it is likely that they will inspire more people to take up instruments.
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