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What caused the downfall of RB & GH?

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#1 lifeismusic5

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 02:53 PM

This is a question that's been asked for years since the last time Guitar Hero was relevant & since Rock Band first stopped updating their DLCs. What does everyone think?

 

For me, there's a few answers honestly, let's go through them.

1. Poor sales. An obvious one, but poor sales really did them in, nobody bought their titles besides hardcore fans (by the end of it). I certainly have converted a few people towards these game series'. Got them all hooked on these games like never before.

 

2. Price, The price can be contributed to the lack of support, I mean, between the peripherals breaking & stuff like that, games themselves were fine, unless we're talkin' Guitar Hero then you were buying a new game one after another (if you were dedicated like that), for Rock Band really you were only buying DLC for 1.99 a piece & the occasional pack or album which were decent prices in itself. Cost does come into this for sure.

 

3. Rocksmith/Clone Hero. I've been hearing that Rocksmith was a huge reason for the downfall of interest in these rhythm games, & while I somewhat agree, I think Clone Hero took over now more than Rocksmith has. Sure Rocksmith is for those who want to learn guitar for real, but Clone Hero is for those who want to play but don't want to be limited besides the fact it took the streaming/twitch community by storm.

 

Right now, I think that for me one reason why I don't play Rock Band 4 is not because it's a bad game or because DLC is unreasonable, but because Rock Band 3 is reliable, & customs really can't be beat. I think with everything found on this website alone it simply is the best way to play Rock Band. Sure, we went out & got Rock Band 4 & instruments, some DLC & the expansion. I honestly found myself going back to RB3 more than I was playing RB4. If RB4 had Custom track compatibility, then I really would switch over at that point, but because they patched it completely I think i'll just stick to RB3 :)



#2 TheSheepQueen

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 04:03 PM

There are various reasons  for each game, but here is my list of ideas:

 

Both:

-Rise of Clone Hero which is free compared to the two

-Lack of PC support, see above

 

Guitar Hero Live:

-New concept too different from previous games for people to enjoy it truly

-Lack of new content and ultimately abandonment of the online platform

-Ridiculous setlist, I can name only 2 songs you could consider "classics"

-You cannot keep the GHTV songs

-No customisation of instruments/musicians since it's FMV

-Way too ambitious for a game series making a comeback after 5 years, it almost seems like it was rushed to be a bigger thing than Rock Band 4

-No drums, no bass, vocals only came after a while

 

Rock Band 4:

-Lack of keys, we're not a lot but we exist

-Not many people had a PS4/Xbox One at the time of release compared to now

-DLC was too focused on modern music for a while and people are never happy and want some free Led Zeppelin or whatever

-Previous controllers were not compatible on Xbox

-Nothing really new outside of freestyle

-Litteraly nobody cares about Rock Band VR it seems (VR is understandable as a headset is very expensive)

-DLC has featured several keys heavy songs, which brings me to the modern music and keys points

 

I don't believe price has been a problem because Guitar Hero Live is fairly correct for its price (or at least it was at the time of release) and Rock Band has always had band bundles that did cost plenty, and DLC has always been the same price most of the time.


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#3 RainbowDash321

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 04:15 PM

GH was big when it came out. The popularity and sales fell because the companies milk their games...like couple of GH titles was released in a same year. A lot of GH games are the same but different songs. GH dlc price was a little too high than RB dlc. I know other fan made games like Guitar Flash and Clone Hero but RB3 with customs...can't beat that. RB3 is still my favorite music game of all time.



#4 DemonUnicorns

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 04:34 PM

Oversaturation of a fad.

Only a few, like myself and probably many of you here, ate it up. I personally could not get enough of the games (mostly since I played on PS2, which did not have DLC).

#5 BornGamerRob

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 06:06 PM

To quote Shania Twain..."It was good while it lasted, but now I'm past it..." Not me per se, but the general pop.


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#6 UngratefulDead

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Posted October 3, 2018 - 07:15 PM

They're a myriad of reasons why popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band went down the gutter pre (and arguably post) Rock Band 4 / GH Live, but the biggest is definitely oversaturation.

 

Let's consider Guitar Hero I, II, and Rock the 80's are out of the equation and the direct competing parallels begin at Guitar Hero III vs Rock Band 1. We'll also take cell-phone games off the table, but we'll keep handheld releases into the equation.

 

Between Guitar Hero III in 2007 and Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock in 2010 there were 11 Guitar Hero releases, plus three more if you factor in Band Hero and DJ Hero. Rock Band, likewise had 7 releases from Rock Band in 2007 to Rock Band 3 in 2010, plus an additional 7 if you factor in trackpacks, and one more if you include the outlier release of Blitz, 2 years after the last major installment of GH and RB during peak music game hype.

 

Between Guitar Hero and Rock Band combined, you were looking at about 28 releases in the span of 4 years. It was a quite frankly ludicrous amount of content to keep up with, and if you were a casual player, you fell off HARD on the amount of investment you had to put into keeping up with the content. Heck even I tapped out shortly after RB2 for a while because it was difficult to keep up with all the new releases.

 

There's a lot of other factors like genre niche, price investment on instruments, as well as the general state of launch as far as the modern most titles go, but oversaturation is what most critics agree is what did the two series in as far as mainstream market appeal.



#7 Bansheeflyer

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 12:29 AM

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#8 alucardla

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 01:10 AM

Hi
I think the lack of PC support (GH for pc III,Aero and IV have very bad optimization) and Rock Band 4 for PC was something I'm expecting like a natural, because PC these days has a lot of the third party games that are release to actual console gens. Then it was dropped.
Rock Band never had any release for PC, and then released RB VR. VR is a modern thing and all but not so popular outside great nations.
I visited the site for a long time and no updates or news were being posted. PC never had a great official music game.
And this one last reason is more personal than the others above.
I think the option to play with the controller pad should continue. I know. Everyone will think the same - What's the fun?
I know.
But in my case i once had 2 guitars 2 microphones, and sometimes drum controller (borrowed from friend).
I had everything at home but the chances of playing as a band have declined considerably. Many people who played with me (and some who live with me) were casual players and could not play on the instruments. So in the last years I'm more of a solo player. Online is fun, but in this type of game does not replace couch multiplayer or party play.
On a smaller scale the fact that you are crazy to play that song that came out in DLC but you remember that your guitar was sent to repair and you will have to wait. 
But more than this, 28 games in 4 years is more saturation than annual CoD.
 
This is just the opinion of an old guy with a ( not-so)gray beard who is crazy about these games.


#9 Brandon75689

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 02:47 AM

Just like anything that dies, its the lack of features or limitation of features. Console games do this because they want the game to become irrelevant by the time the next installment comes out. This is how the industry makes its money. 

 

However, rockband has a different problem that all other games have and thats the licensing songs problem. Pc players don't care about licensing of songs. This website is a perfect example. Harmonix is a big company, they wouldn't want to do the limewire approach and release it for PC with a "song creator" and expect people to upload their own custom songs. Then say, "whoops" when a licensed songs gets through. 

 

There would be too many lawsuits. But then again, I'm against intellectual property in general. 



#10 chaosjaye

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 02:51 AM

while i agree with life and sheep..to me two obvious points left out that really helped.

1) the gamer themselves changed...attention span is not really the theme of the day with the younger gen...games last a year mostly...tv shows..like em now they avg 3 seasons then gone.

2)everything dies.... i remember years ago having to line up for my 14 year old to be the first to grab first copy of halo..first person shooter etc. noone buys physical stuff anymore .going to buy wait in line is a thing of the past...and alot of these  youtubers dont go outside much to buy a drum set etc. i play 4 on xbox 1..will i ever pay over 3k for dlc like i did with rb3...no but it has its fun rb3 doesnt.

and on a side note...machines rely on online more then ever nowadays...360  did somewhat so customs on 4 while they can be done...youll always have the online prob to solve and not getting banned.



#11 Brandon75689

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 03:16 AM

I honestly think it would still be popular if they moved with the times. Like A) make it easier and more accessible to hook up a full drum kit, or a multiple octave keyboard, and more interesting keyboard and better microphone alternatives that you can use for karaoke. You won't be able to have every song that everyone wants and you won't be able to cater to all levels of individual skill. I grew out of the instruments, but I think playing pro drums is still interesting. The only thing that I really enjoy is the vocals because thats the closest to the real thing you're going to get. But not everyone wants to sing rock songs. They don't have an RnB or singing enchanced songs. Even the customs here don't really have any of that.

 

The lack of multiplayer play is another problem or the really late introduction of the multiplayer player is another problem. People don't do the split/screen come-over-and-play thing much anymore. Everything is about online playing. Multiplayer is what sets the longevity of a game. and there is no competitiveness online. Its all a point system which just means the person with the least amount of life outside the game can get to the leaderboards, theres no skill competition really. My roommate is like #2 in the world on Rockband 4. but he is unemployed and plays all day while drinking. Doesn't sound like much fun to me, but when you're drunk the person doesn't care. 



#12 Bansheeflyer

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 06:14 AM

I honestly think it would still be popular if they moved with the times.

 

"Kids these days don't want a silly small plastic instrument! Let's develop a 76-key keyboard and a 7-piece e-kit for a price everyone can afford!" - Nobody ever

 

But not everyone wants to sing rock songs. They don't have an RnB or singing enchanced songs. Even the customs here don't really have any of that.

 

Define "singing-enhanced". There's plenty of songs from many genres. The reason rap/hip-hop might lack a bit is because it's not GH/RB worthy. It's fun for the singer, sure but unless you have a turntable and a Mac there's really nothing for the rest of the players. Plenty of Snoop Dogg songs though (or whatever name he goes by nowadays).

 

The lack of multiplayer play is another problem or the really late introduction of the multiplayer player is another problem. People don't do the split/screen come-over-and-play thing much anymore. Everything is about online playing. Multiplayer is what sets the longevity of a game. and there is no competitiveness online.

 

1. Really late introduction of multiplayer? You mean the online multiplayer that started with GH3 back in 2007 with the first generation of consoles that really focused on online multiplayer?

2. I'll agree to an extent but when it comes to GH and RB I've spent the majority of my time couch gaming with friends because it's one of the best party games out there. And I'm far from the only one who does this.

3. This one I'll also partially agree with but since Rivals came out there's plenty of competitiveness online. Sure it's not like battle mode if that's what you're looking for but the climbing of leaderboards and competing for the best scores is as fun I think. I actually prefer how Rivals is set up because 1) It's asynchronous so I don't have to try and negotiate a time to play with the few fellow online gamer friends I have that play somewhat regularly and 2) it allows me to cooperatively yet competitively play with my friends since we're both trying to outdo each other in scores to boost our crews.

 

Minus the "kids these days" aspect I agree with chaosjaye that while there's plenty of factors that have contributed to the Fall of the Rhythm Game, I'd say it's really just as simple as people getting bored. Now this opens a few points for debate:

 

1. Oversaturation was a huge problem (as posted many times and see my image snippet above) and people simply got burnt out on it. Of course that many damn games came out at one time because it's Activision, easily one of the largest offenders of bad game development policy.

 

2. With Activision in mind there's also been a massive ton of Call of Duty games, yet people don't seem to as easily get burnt out on those. Why? Who knows. I theorize that it's because there's been at least some variance in the series in general, or at least enough to keep it interesting. Sure, GH and RB have changed things up a bit; themed games like Metallica, Aerosmith, and The Beatles, full-on spinoffs like Lego and Band Hero and straight up entire gameplay changes like DJ Hero but it's really not enough. It gets stale after over a decade of essentially the same thing. Again, there's the comparison to CoD and its often-criticized "more of the same" but I maintain that it's more interesting to play the latest CoD with a different battlefield, different story, and different ways to play as opposed to "hit this note but with a different song and stage now."

 

3. People do simply get bored.


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#13 DosParkers

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Posted October 4, 2018 - 07:07 AM

The biggest reason for Rock Band 4 declining in popularity is the lack of hardware support. It's almost impossible to get into the game as a new customer because you have nothing but vocals to play. Guitars are wicked expensive and drums are damn near non-existent. The last Rock Band 4 drum adapter (for Xbox) sold for $300 because it was the only one listed, anywhere.

 

I really hope HMX can get back in the hardware game and make a deal with a partner company. If they don't relatively soon, the game is going to fizzle out. Just a slow progress of more people quitting RB and less people joining the fun.



#14 nsw1-6

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 02:35 AM

The Unholy Trinity of DJ Hero/Band Hero/GH:VH ('nuff said)

And RB3 introduced pro-instruments. I would've bought the game, but hell, I already had a real guitar and several keyboards. Why play that shit on plastic when I can grab some tabs/sheet music and play it myself?


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#15 TheSheepQueen

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 02:45 PM

Reading all these, I wonder if the "Make GH/RB one platform and release new content on it" idea shouldn't have come earlier...


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#16 Dangus

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 08:02 PM

I would definitely say for the general public the price and that it was a fad.

Just like Fortnite will be a fad in a year or so.

The price of RB was too much though for most casual players of the game. Not to mention the older RB instruments weren't made well at all. I went through over 8 drum kits in my RB2 days.



#17 Alternity

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 08:02 PM

The Unholy Trinity of DJ Hero/Band Hero/GH:VH ('nuff said)

And RB3 introduced pro-instruments. I would've bought the game, but hell, I already had a real guitar and several keyboards. Why play that shit on plastic when I can grab some tabs/sheet music and play it myself?

 

To be honest, I also own a keyboard and simply bought the MIDI adapter to be able to play with my own.

Though if you're on xbox and need one right now... good luck.



#18 Dangus

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 08:09 PM

"

 

Rock Band 4:

-Lack of keys, we're not a lot but we exist

-Not many people had a PS4/Xbox One at the time of release compared to now

-DLC was too focused on modern music for a while and people are never happy and want some free Led Zeppelin or whatever

-Previous controllers were not compatible on Xbox

-Nothing really new outside of freestyle

-Litteraly nobody cares about Rock Band VR it seems (VR is understandable as a headset is very expensive)

-DLC has featured several keys heavy songs, which brings me to the modern music and keys points"

 

 

 

- Lack of keys, Modern DLC, less console owners, VR... none of those are why RB4 failed. RB4 failed because they decided to take the route of "Oh we'll patch in features from previous games in later as "new features" " . 

 

Keyboard didn't do as well as the RB-enthusiast want to think it did. Most people didn't even know RB3 existed that I tried to bring RB up about. Leaderboards for keyboard were so dead too.. I remember thinking "Wow I'm good I placed #50 on the leaderboard" and i'd go look at there'd only be about 400 total submissions (most probably repeats from other songs.. not new faces) if that.. on POPULAR tracks.

 

Modern DLC is to appeal to casuals since casuals these days mostly listen to radio rock and pop.

 

Less Console Owners would make sense if the casuals actually cared about the genre to begin with.

 

VR no sense at all of why RB4 failed. VR shouldn't have happened though. It was a dumb idea and a waste of development money. Will agree with that.



#19 Alternity

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Posted October 5, 2018 - 08:18 PM

 

VR no sense at all of why RB4 failed. VR shouldn't have happened though. It was a dumb idea and a waste of development money. Will agree with that.

 

 

Occulus financed the RBVR development, so there was no wasted money from HMX on that end.







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