Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, tells me that "DJ Hero" won't just change his company's business, but will change the world.
Hyperbole? Of course. He's trying to make the point that now music games are accessible to anyone who likes any type of music. You don't have to be an expert gamer; Kotick says the "DJ Hero" turntable is accessible and intuitive. When the game goes on sale at 12:01 Tuesday morning the company is hoping a whole different type of consumer will line up to buy the new game. The "DJ Hero" package of a controller-turntable and game with a lineup of hip-hop, dance and pop music, is designed to appeal to all those music fans that aren't into the rock music and guitar controllers of the previous "Hero" games.
This game sticks out from Activision Blizzard's "Hero" predecessors not just because the *type* of music is different, but also because there's just *so* much music. The game features over 100 songs, more than any previous hero title, as well as 93 "mixes" of hip-hop, dance, and pop.
But not only has the downturn in consumer spending hurt video game sales as a whole, but the genre of music games is particularly suffering, and Activision faces newly strong competition. In September The Beatles trounced Guitar Hero 5: Rock Band from MTV Games and Electronic Arts. And while video game console sales were fairly strong in September, sales of the software were disappointing, especially considering the number of big game releases, including "Beatles: Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero 5." Game sales in the U.S. grew five percent compared to the 15 percent analysts were expecting.