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Guitar Hero Downloadable Content Announced, Expensive 133

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog has the word on the first three downloadable content packs for Guitar Hero II on the 360. The good news is that song selections include tracks like 'Ace of Spades', 'Killer Queen', and 'Bark at the Moon'. The bad news is that buying just three songs is 500 points. "The price of around $2 per song isn't outrageous, but it isn't generous either. I'd also prefer they allow you to buy each song alone, instead of being forced into the bundles. It's also worth noting that if you bought every song in the original Guitar Hero at this rate, you'd pay $97.92. Not exactly a compelling deal."
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Guitar Hero Downloadable Content Announced, Expensive

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  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:00PM (#18690299)
    First off let's assume that Microsoft and RIAA takes around 1 dollar (aka Itunes) for the covers of these songs (which is sort of a double dip for RIAA since they can get you for the licensing and likely the music talent also) and Microsoft gets money for distributing the data (They take a good chunk off the top). Then you need the Harmonix group to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals, and the second guitar tracks from the vocals (why this has to be a live recording rather then using an MP3 from Itunes). Then finally you have to make a note chart for all four difficulties as well as a note chart for co-op. Test them to make sure they aren't too hard or easy. And then publish them.

    Personally I think this price is fair. It's a touch high, but knowing the RIAA thought pattern I'm sure it's more than reasonable from their first suggestion.
  • by MeanMF ( 631837 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:03PM (#18690367) Homepage
    They don't have to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals because these are not original recordings..None of them are even performed by the original bands - they're all covers done specifically for the game. Plus these songs were already done for the PS2 version of Guitar Hero so it's not like they had to re-record or do new new charts for any of them.
  • Re:Beats iTunes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:09PM (#18690453) Journal
    Considering there's more than just a song, there's the data needed to sync the game to the music.

    That's little more than transcription. It's a bit of work, considering it needs balancing and testing, but hardly the same level that goes into writing, performing recording and marketting. Not that this has any effect on the end price at all.

    and do you really think this is going to be sold completely without any form of copy protection?
  • by TooMuchEspressoGuy ( 763203 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:10PM (#18690473)
    ...predicted that "microtransactions" would lead to half-finished yet full-price games where the developer nickle-and-dimes you for content that should have been included in the game in the first place have been vindicated as of late. This whole thing is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

    Need proof? Guitar Hero 1 had maybe 30-35 songs, and was priced at $40 for just the game. Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 has around 50 songs, and minus the cost of the controller, it's about $50 alone. That's about $1-$1.25/song, and even lower if you count the cost of the game "shell" itself; a pretty good deal, seeing as you own the rights to use the physical media for eternity.

    But, $2/song? For just the songs? Where is the extra cost coming from?

    If I had to guess, the greedy developers.

  • Re:Worth it... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zrobotics ( 760688 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:20PM (#18690637)
    I think the real question is "Why did the GH developers decide that the thing that really gets the crowd goin' is pounding the tremolo bar like an insane man? Is there a precedent for this in real life?"
  • by Lazerf4rt ( 969888 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:23PM (#18690691)

    Then you need the Harmonix group to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals, and the second guitar tracks from the vocals (why this has to be a live recording rather then using an MP3 from Itunes). Then finally you have to make a note chart for all four difficulties as well as a note chart for co-op. Test them to make sure they aren't too hard or easy.

    Your point would be much more valid if they hadn't already done all of that... 18 months ago. These are all recycled Guitar Hero 1 songs. Most GH fans can play them right now, without spending any extra money, by popping the disc in their PS2.

    If Red Octane and Harmonix had recorded some new content, exclusive to Xbox Live Marketplace, that would be exciting, and totally worth it. But they didn't. As it stands, this is just a lazy and obvious cash-grab attempt.

  • Re:Led Zeppelin? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:28PM (#18690761) Journal
    "Never" in this context means "When Robert Plant and Jimmy Page die and the next generation greed of the people whose only connection to the music is a check, kicks in."

  • by Mathonwy ( 160184 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:51PM (#18691151)
    Erm. Excuse me?

    Let's look at this a different way. Pretend the 360 doesn't even exist. Guitar hero came out for the PS2 as well, if you'll recall.

    Are you saying that GH2 didn't have enough songs in it to be worth selling? That it was "half finished" with a mere 70 songs or so?

    Forgive me, but playing it, it sure feels like a full featured game to me. Doesn't seem "half finished, full priced" at all. And "content that should have been included in the first place"? Where are you getting that exactly? It wasn't in the PS2 version. Why should thouse extra songs have "been in the first place", exactly, besides that "you wants them"? It's not like the 360 version is significantly more expensive than the PS2, and so you're "owed" songs. (They're within $10, according to EBgames, and that's with the PS2 one having been out for a while.)

    The ONLY reason that (as far as I can tell) you [and others] are complaining, is that you're annoyed that, now that they've provided their full game, they have the audacity to give you the OPTION of adding more content to it, at some price that they set, which doesn't even seem that far out. (I agree with the assessment of "not especially generous, but not unfair, either.") I feel pretty strongly that you got a full game out of the deal either way, even if you don't buy stuff.

    You may feel that their prices are too high for add on songs. But I still can't visualize the mental contortions required to get from that, to "clearly vindicates people worried that microtransactions would lead to half finished games". I can only conclude that you are either actively trolling, haven't actually played Guitar Hero 2 and are just complaining on principal, or are misinformed.
  • No Problem Here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PixieDust ( 971386 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:52PM (#18691179)
    I for one, have 0 problems with this. It would be nice to be able to pick and choose specific songs, but on the flipside of that, I've discovered songs that I never would have otherwise, just because they're already there. This will be much the same for me.

    As for the person that made the comment aobut how everything with XBox Live Marketplace being absurdly overpriced let me offer a counter view. I've had the 360 since shortly after it came out, and not until the last few months did I start buying actual 360 games for it. I do, however, have a TON of "XBox Live Arcade" games downloaded. The one I play the most, Texas Hold 'Em, I got while it was offered as a free download. And you know what? I've gotten more enjoyment from the Arcade games offered, at worst about $10 a pop, than I have out of most $50 games I've purchased. Those I generally play through, then lose interest. I will occasionally revisit them (The Sonic Mega Collection I got for the original XBox was one of the best games I'd purchased in a long time, just because it had all the Sonic Goodness (plus some of the mistakes) in one package. I barely play the Sonic games anymore. It isn't that I don't like them, but I've played them a lot. They dont' change much. In a single player game, once you've gone through it, unless it's a TRULY DYNAMIC game, there's not really much left to it. That's where multiplayer comes into play. If the multiplayer fails, the game fails. It has no replay value. With downloadable content, that changes things. Guitar Hero also has the added benefit of being able to play against, or with other people. It has ALL the makings of a GREAT game, with GREAT replay value.

    Am I willing to shell out a bit more for a game that is going to provide me with countless hours of good clean fun? Damn straight I am. Everyone else can go sit in a corner and whine and cry all they want, in the meantime I'm going to crank up the sound, and have fun.

    It's funny, the most enjoyable games I've played to date on the XBox 360 have been Guitar Hero II, some DDR style game my roomate bought, Texas Hold 'Em, Worms, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I didn't even buy NFS because I knew the replay value on it would suck. Still, it was fun to cruise around in my souped up Pink Mitsubishi. You hear on the radio "Suspect is driving a Pink Mitsubishi". But we just got the Guitar, and DDR game. We've mostly just been playing Arcade games ont he 360. Oh, and Geometry Wars, can't believe I almost left that one out. FANTASTIC. Other than that, our 360 is used to stream media from our computers. The 360 is far and above the pittance we paid for it (We have the Premium one, 1st-gen when they still came with the media remote), and the content is thus far, more than worth what we pay. I've considered purchasing television episodes from the marketplace as well, and if I could offload them to my computer, I would without hesitation.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay