The Guitar Hero franchise is sadly missed after Activision's shock franchise cull... but in an extraordinarily candid interview, controversial CEO Bobby Kotick has admitted that they simply stopped listening to consumers during the launch of DJ Hero. More interestingly, an unnamed studio is exploring new technology and prototypes for the series revival.Click here to read more...
Good news and bad news from the D Hero developer today. The good news is that FreeStyle Games have announced, in a statement to VG247, that they'll be working on a new project in collaboration with Activision, although details have not yet been confirmed. Studio director Jamie Jackson confirmed that 'today we are excited to share with our fans and community the news that we will continue our strong partnership with Activision, with work starting on a new, innovative project.'Click here for the bad news...
It's a dark day for Activision... as well as the last few dedicated fans who still cling to their plastic guitars. During their annual financial statement, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has confirmed that the Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and True Crime: Hong Kong franchises have been completely axed (along with their studios) in order to concentrate on the Call Of Duty franchise.
Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011. The company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong™. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences. - Activision's Bobby Kotick
With Rock Band's future all but destroyed by Harmonix's departure from the Viacom family, this practically marks the death of the music game as we know it... along with around 5000 job losses. See you at the crossroads, Guitar Heroes.
Perhaps the most bizarre decision to come out of this recent press release is the canning of True Crime: Hong Kong. My sources (and our previews) tell me that the project was nearing completion- but Activision COO Eric Hirshberg apparently feels that the franchise is not "good enough" to compete in the open world genre. Time to cancel your preorders, folks.
There also won't be any Tony Hawk titles in 2011, though it's unclear whether the franchise has been ditched altogether.
Like a phoenix rising from the flames, Activision also confirmed that their year-long Beachhead Project has blossomed into a fully-fledged studio. Their remit and objectives are still incredibly vague, but Activision CFO Thomas Tippl suggests that the outfit is currently engaged in creating a new online venture set in the... you guessed it... Call Of Duty universe.
Beachhead will create the best-in-class online community, exclusive content, and a suite of services to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before.
We'll hear more in the "near future," but current speculation suggests that they may be hard at work developing an online dashboard that brings together the Call Of Duty games (much like a mix between Halo Waypoint and Battle.net). We'll keep you posted.
UPDATE: THIS IS HAPPENING.
French fansite Halo Destiny have reportedly snagged some details of a new DLC map pack for Halo Reach. Entitled the Defiant pack, it may offer three new levels: "Condemned," "Unearthed" and "Highlands." Condemned is rumoured to take place on a Covenant Frigate, while the Highlands map apparently takes its cues from High Ground (prominently featuring a covenant cruiser that's in the process of glassing the planet). The original details and pictures have been pulled by Microsoft's request... though a very authentic Flickr account still exists.
Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the matter- but the speed with which they attempted to shut the rumour down is extremely suggestive. For now, file it under watch this space. [Halo Destiny via Joystiq]
We haven't forgotten about the ongoing legal battle between Sony and a cabal of hackers who managed to crack the PS3's tough security. The biggest obstacle facing the software giant is finding out exactly who these individuals are behind their online aliases- and requested Subpoenas from Google, Paypal, Twitter and Youtube in an effort to discover names and home addresses.
Unfortunately for Sony, US District Judge Susan Illston believes that their request represents a gross breach of online privacy and legally denied access to their accounts.
To be honest, this is probably a sound precedent. The idea of billion-dollar companies being able to legally rifle through our PayPal details is chilling to say the least. For Sony, however, it will unfortunately be back to good old fashioned cyber-sleuthing. [PSX-SCENE]
Will this the day I finally buy DJ Hero? Maybe. The sub-£30 tag is an attractive one for a game that is actually exceptionally good. Sure it takes a little time to get used to and it could do with full multiplayer integration, but stick this on at a party and you'll have a blast...or alternatively turn into the modern day versions of the guy who never fails to turn up with a guitar and kills the mood. God I hate that guy. Well worth it now at this price, but some of you might just want to hold out until the sequel arrives to be honest. Nice one goonertillidie at HUKD.
There are times when you're having a night out on the town and you get into a club and all you can think is 'My God, this DJ's rubbish, I could do much better', well now you can attempt to top the pros by grabbing hold of a copy of DJ Hero.
All you need to do is part with £35.00 to get a version for the 360 from Tesco Direct, which'll save you almost £3 on the next best price of £37.99 coming in from Argos.
The game comes with an essential piece of kit for any DJ, even a virtual one, the bulky turntable controller, which is what you'll be using to scratch and crossfade your way to success, by following the colour coded commands that pop up on screen.
There are guest appearances from industry legends such as DJ Shadow and Daft Punk, however that's not the only thing to be impressed by, the set list is pretty good for a game that's the first of its kind.
This is a title that definitely injected a bit of variety into the music game genre and it's just as much fun to play as some of the band or singing orientated games on the market. Like the rest of the music games out there though, the multiplayer is certainly more enjoyable than the single player and you'll probably find yourself bringing it out for a bit of fun during a last minute get together.
Thanks to har42 @ HUKD
Oh it's so deliciously close to that sub-£30 mark isn't it? At this price I might actually consider buying DJ Hero. It's one of those games that I have an absolute blast playing at other folks' houses but never got around to buying for myself. This price might just change all of that, putting Grandmaster Flash, DJ AM, DJ Shadow and Daft Punk in my front room along with my slick plastic peripheral skills. Maybe.
My own personal apathy aside, PowerplayDirect's £31.99 is a great price for a game that was pushing three figures when it first released and this price will save you a good £3 on the nearest competitor.
Hats off all round for this game, really. It was a fresh and funky take on the music game that heralded the sharp downturn in fortunes for the genre. It's unfairly written off in many quarters, but I don't know anyone who has actually played DJ Hero and doesn't love it. That said, it's still best to enjoy with friends, or cunningly deployed at a party for music and entertainment. The solitary experience is a little disconcerting in all honesty - let's face it, music games are always better with another person - but there's enough here to make this £32 well spent.
Thanks to whizzkid at HUKD
If you ever wanted to be a master of the decks but couldn't justify forking out for a ridiculous amount of vinyl to scratch in an attempt to sound like your favourite club heroes, grabbing a copy of DJ Hero along with the Turntable Controller is a much cheaper alternative, especially at this price.
You can pick up the game on the PS3 and its accompanying peripheral for £34.85 from ShopTo, which'll make you a pretty good saving of over £10 compared to the next best deal of £45.48 coming in from Cool Shop UK.
Instead of playing along to the songs you'll be manipulating the music using a range of tricks including scratching, crossfading, and a number of other special effects, which you'll need to get to grips with in order to get the crowd moving.
For a first time title the set list is pretty impressive and there are special guest appearances from music legends, such as DJ Jazzy Jeff, Daft Punk, and Eminem.
The game's pretty good fun to play and it brings a bit of variety to the music game genre whilst also handling very well, which isn't always the easiest thing for a new game to pull off.
If you were put off by the absurdly expensive price of the game along with the controller when it was first released, then this is your opportunity to get hold of them without having to part with too much cash, provided you get to ShopTo's website before they run out of stock.
Thanks to blythyftm @ HUKD
It just can't stop tumbling in price. Personally I'm holding out for a sub-£20 price for this, which may never happen considering it started out in near triple digits, but for those of you slightly less stingy than myself, you might be interested to learn that you can now pick up DJ Hero on any of the three major consoles for under £35.
Play have slashed their prices down to £34.99, meaning you can save yourself around £5 on the nearest price.
DJ Hero does everything right: sturdy peripheral, fantastic presentation, genre star cameos (DJ AM, DJ Shadow, Daft Punk and more) and familiar yet original gameplay. This is no gimmicky cash in but a game that really deserves to be played far more than any of the latest Guitar Hero titles. The price here makes picking one up from Play an absolute steal but, as ever, it's the niche appeal that gets in the way. It's a brilliant little thing to have at a party, with some 100 excellent tracks on show, but it's nowhere near as universally appealing and could frankly do with being better supported.
Thanks to hermanjelmet at HUKD
DJ Hero is dropping in price so quickly that I might have to invent some spurious justification for actually buying it one of these days. Activision's latest addition their music stable isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it doesn't quite seem to capture the spirit of the genre in the way that rocking out with your mates as part of a band does.
Still, if you do fancy getting involved, you might like to know that ShopTo are currently selling the Renegade version of the game, which comes with an extra CD fronted by Eminem and Jay-Z, a limited edition version of the controller and a case that can transform into a stand for the deck, for £49.98 - a good £10 less than the nearest competitor.
NB. Remember to use our exclusive ShopTo promo code 'DEALSPWN' to add £2 credit to your account if you haven't already.
I want to like DJ Hero, and it's important to note that every time I've played it I've found it to be an engaging experience that has clearly had a lot of love poured into it by the development team. Far from being a simple knock off to appeal to a new crowd, this is a title that's been crafted by people really invested in the music. The exclusive mixes, and there are some 100 tracks to choose from here, are fantastic, and Activision isn't afraid to name drop with DJ AM, DJ Shadow, Daft Punk and Grandmaster Flash all turning up to lend a helping hand.
The peripheral itself is nice and sturdy too and it's easy to see why Activision chose Red Octane in the divorce on the strength of this, but there's something missing for me I think. I find it to be a pleasant enough novelty to play when I'm over someone else's house, but I can never quite bring myself to buy it. Regardless of my own indecision, for a package that cost over £100 at launch, this price for the Renegade Edition is pretty damn sweet and might just tempt a few punters over the edge.
Thanks to InfernoZeus at HUKD
Thanks to its older incredibly successful brother, the premise of DJ Hero really needs no introduction, the only notable differences are the shape of the controller and the genre of music. What does need bringing to your attention is the fantastic price that the game group are offering for the title and turntable controller, which for me at least is starting to look very appealing.
So, 'whats the damage?' you may be asking at this point. Well, the game group (Game, Gameplay, and Gamestation) are parting with the game and turntable controller for £39.98, on both PS3 and Xbox 360, which is almost £10 cheaper than the next best offer of £49.95 from Zavvi.
Now, when compared to Guitar Hero, DJ Hero certainly isn't as polished and the multiplayer experience isn't quite as rewarding. However, instead of bringing a rock concert into your living room which in itself was no mean feat, this time around Activision have managed to squeeze an entire club night, music and all, into your house with style and a surprising amount of ease for a first time title. I found myself becoming quickly absorbed by the game, transforming into a legend of the lounge with the assistance of a pair of sunglasses and headphones, shouting at people to put their hands in the air and move to the beat.
The game contains an impressive set list and special guest appearances from the likes of DJ Shadow, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Daft Punk, and Eminem. When its your turn to step into the spotlight, the controller allows you to perform actions such as crossfading, scratching, and special effects, all of which you'll have to learn in order to become a master of the decks.
If you're looking for a music game thats a little bit different, perhaps you're not a fan of the rock and roll scene and therefore have stayed away from Guitar Hero, or maybe you're just looking to chill out by creating a new mash-up then Dj Hero might well be the game for you.
Another week, another further slide for DJ Hero towards that sub-£30 price which means I'll finally be able to justify buying it. Maybe. Activision's brave take on another side of the music game genre is a game that has clearly been crafted with a lot of love, but there are still a few things missing, and the game is nowhere near as feature packed as its guitar-based counterparts.
You can grab the Wii version of the game, along with the turntable controller of course, for just £38.72 from Amazon at this point in time, saving you over £6 on nearest competitor ShopTo.
DJ Hero isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, play for five minutes and it quickly becomes readily apparent just how much time, dedication and love has gone into this game. Gamers who who the territory will be absolutely delighted with the setlist on offer here, along with the celebrity guest spots from genre leaders such as DJ Shadow, Daft Punk and the late DJ AM.
The peripheral, as you'd expect from Red Octane, is a strong, sturdy piece of kit. with three coloured buttons to mash at for mash-ups, and a couple of sliders to aid with the new game mechanics that will serve as the basis for your deck-spinning tricks: crossfading, scratching and special effects. As per usual, hit a certain run of notes perfectly and you'll earn yourself a bunch of star power or, as this game calls it, Euphoria.
There are a few head-to-head challenges to involve a second player, but I can't help but feel that the multiplayer part of this game is somewhat under-supported. Sure, you've got online leaderboards to grind your way up as well but they're pretty poorly supported and the multiplayer options have you playing exactly the same things rather than combining forces to produce a super-mash-up. That said, DJ Hero is an exceptionally good game. It might seem like a bit of a niche title, and it certainly won't appeal to everyone but it breathes fresh life into the music genre again and proves to be a great party pleaser thanks to its 102 licensed tracks.
I'm still going to wait for it to go sub-£30, though.
Thanks to goonertillidie at HUKD
Worth buying purely for annoying your over-enthusiastic mate that bought it for £100 last year and never plays it anymore. Mastered the plastic guitar, bass and drums (don’t sing on your own it’s weird) of Guitar Hero and Rock Band? Well why not try your skills on the decks?
It’s certainly more of a niche title and not as immediately accessible as the more familiar music peripheral titles but arguably has more of a ‘real thing’ edge to it.
The way you mix two songs together and use the sliders and scratches means there’s more to keep your eye on during a track and also extra room for personal style too.
There are close to a hundred tracks included with the game and extra ones are available via DLC although the extra work required to construct them means they aren’t released as often as Guitar Hero or Rock Band tracks and they are more expensive. Hey don’t pull that face, Activision have to make money back after the Tony Hawk: Ride failure!
The default track list includes the likes of: 50 Cent, Beastie Boys, Benny Benassi, Black Eyed Peas, Blondie, Chuck Brown, David Bowie, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Shadow, Eminem, Eric Prydz, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Grandmaster Flash, Gwen Stefani, JAY-Z, LL Cool J, Marvin Gaye, Public Enemy and Rick James. Many of the tracks were remixed by leading names in the industry such as: Grandmaster Flash, DJ Shadow, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Z Trip and DJ AM.
If your mate isn’t too bitter about getting stiffed for £100 you can use two decks for two player matches. For some tracks you can even play co-op with a buddy using a Guitar Hero controller.
Thanks to mufc72 for the find at HotUkDeals
For some reason that Kotick and Co. are yet to fathom but that everyone else seems to have worked out, DJ Hero really didn't sell as well as it was expected to. Ripping through a bunch of classic rock songs with three of your mates was the big highlight of games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero World Tour, and somehow the thought of sitting in a dark corner playing with an expensive plastic peripheral all on your lonesome wasn't quite as commercially appealling.
Not at the starting price anyway.
You see, the fact of the matter is that DJ Hero is actually an excellent game hampered by an initially extortionate price point. But now, you can pick up the game for around £40, and we're about to tell you how. First you need to hit the link below and add DJ Hero to your basket, then you need to buy a bunch of batteries for £1.79 (or alternatively a microwave dinner for £1), taking your total to just over £50, and then, when you arrive at the checkout, you need to enter in the voucher code TDX-GD55. This will knock £10 off of the price, meaning that you can get DJ Hero along with replacement batteries for just £40.79.
From the tutorial voiced by Grandmaster Flash to the impressive mash-up setlist featuring guest spots from big names such as Daft Punk, DJ AM and DJ Shadow, it's clear that there's been a lot of work and energy poured into this game. The new peripheral offers a fairly familiar experience - three coloured buttons to mash in time with the music, although there are four new mechanics - crossfades, effects, scratching and Euphoria (Star Power) - to add into the mix.
Yes it's single-player, but DJ Hero actually proves to be a really nifty party piece. It could have done with a Freestyle mode, and the somewhat slippery peripheral can take some getting used to, but as you progress up to the higher difficulty levels the synchronicity between your movements and sounds coming out of the speakers falls perfectly into place.
Thanks to OnTheBallCity at HUKD
DJ Hero received solid critical reviews, but didn't really cause a splash when it was released last October. 2009 was a dark time for the rhythm genre, and gamers were unwilling to part with over a ton for an unfamiliar new peripheral during the tail end of the recession. The price has been steadily falling- and now it's finally dipped under the £50 mark. Tesco are charging £49 when you reserve and collect instore, or £54 with their standard delivery. It's still £11 less than Gameplay (the nearest competitor) even if you shell out the extra fiver for postage and packing.
DJ Hero may have bombed thanks to Activision's over-saturation of the market, but it didn't really deserve to. It's a capable and imaginative new IP that combines the stagnating Guitar Hero formula with a fresh new musical genre. Three buttons on the 'record' emulate the familiar colour matching mechanic that we all know and love, but a set of fader switches adds a thoughtful new dimension into the mix (no pun intended). A strong collection of dance and electronica tracks provide a suitably epic canvas for your scratching, mixing and crossfading.
The build quality of the turntable peripheral is top notch- in fact, I was surprised at how reassuringly solid it feels. The disc buttons are a little close together for my liking, but it's a nifty piece of kit nonetheless.
DJ Hero's main stumbling block is that it's a fairly lonely experience. Riotous drunken multiplayer has always been the cornerstone of the Guitar Hero games, but the chance of finding a mate with another turntable is fairly low. Even if you do, there's only support for two players and the guitar peripheral support for certain songs is criminally underused. Still; if you've been sitting on the fence, this price might well convince you to swap your shredding iron for a set of decks.
Thanks to davver99 at Hot UK Deals
Today’s news roundup sees video game addiction infiltrating the ranks of the rich and famous. David Guetta accidently leaks news of a DJ Hero sequel and lastly, EA’s Jason DeLong discusses the need for developers to make their games more economical.
We are all love to hear about dysfunctional celebrities and how their lives, so pristine on the surface, are secretly being torn apart by infidelity, violence and secret drug addictions. After all, nothing makes you feel better about yourself than to read about some superstar’s psychological turmoil. But, when it comes to actor Zac Efron – star of such unforgettable classics as ’17 Again’ and ‘High School Musical’ – it isn’t drug or alcohol addiction which has his family, his agent and particularly his girlfriend so concerned, but his obsession with his Xbox 360.
No doubt like so many other girlfriends the world over, Zac’s partner Vanessa has begun to seriously consider the possibility that Zac loves his 360 more than her. Vanessa has hardly seen him," said a source close to the couple. "He talks more to his friends online, while blasting away at aliens or whatever, than to her." Poor Vanessa even tried to get in on the action in a bid to understand the seductive power of her Xbox love rival but unfortunately ‘her boredom threshold is a lot shorter than Zac's’. Apparently she is now on the verge of saying 'It's me or the Xbox’. [Play.Tm]
Cheesy David Guetta, producer of that annoyingly catchy ‘When Love Takes Over’ track, let slip during an interview with a Canadian Magazine that Activision intend on bringing out a DJ Hero sequel. Guetta then went on to big up the latest interactive music game by saying ‘after 10 minutes you get the same rush as a DJ who’s been practicing for 10 years.’ Unfortunately however - perhaps partly because of the ludicrously high price Activision slapped on their DJ Hero package – the game has pretty much flopped. Maybe for the sequel they need to drop Guetta and get in a real turntablist like Mix Master Mike… [GoNintendo]
It’s hard to remember a time when video games didn’t set you back a small fortune, but according to EA’s Jason DeLong, game prices are going to start falling over the next few years. DeLong reckons that buying full games will soon be a thing of the past, as companies begin to offer consumers ‘smaller up front experiences’ and then the option to extend their games with ‘episodic’ DLC. This will enable developers to keep customers playing a variety of different titles even when times are tight,and no one can afford to fork out £40 - £50 per game. [Eurogamer]
Considering the success of the Guitar Hero franchise it was only a matter of time before Activision's wallet-squeezing department came up with another way to milk the public's pockets dry through peripheral-based button mashing. Welcome, then, to the turntable-purist's nightmare, building upon Red Octane's tried and tested formula of rhythm based gameplay with a setlist that encompasses clubland classics and DnB mash-ups galore.
If you fancy trying your hand at some virtual deck-spinning then you might be pleased to know that HMV are offering the game, complete with turntable peripheral, for just under seventy quid at £69.99 on all large console platforms, with free delivery included. Whilst this isn't a particularly noteworthy price for the Xbox 360 version (it's the same price at Amazon), it is a good £5 cheaper than the nearest competitor for the PS3 and Wii versions (Toys R Us - £74.94 inc. delivery).
DJ Hero is different, that's a fairly good place to start. Just because you've managed to sweep aside 'Through the Fire and Flames' on Expert won't mean that you'll necessarily be a dab hand at this particular game, which is a good thing. Thankfully, there's an excellent tutorial (voiced by Grandmaster Flash) that sets you up with the game's five core mechanics: button taps, crossfades, effects, scratching and Euphoria - this incarnation's Star Power equivalent, and soon you're on your merry way, treading the remix road to stardom via 24 sets of 3-5 songs each, earning points and elusive stars for your troubles.
It's a road that has its fair share of steep finger-busting mountains, although instead of having a traditional difficulty curve, Freestyle Games have just pretty much lobbed a bunch of tracks at you and said 'Have fun', but do you what? It really is. Primarily a single-player experience (although there is a competitive multiplayer element to the game), DJ Hero is surprisingly intuitive and fun when you get into it. The setlist is fantastic, if slightly limited, and spans a dazzling array of genres - hell, Ace of Spades is even in there - with some quality guest appearances from some impressive real-life stars: Daft Punk, the late DJ AM and DJ Shadow all crop up to lend their talents and their likenesses.
It's a phenomenal party piece (much more so than Guitar Hero), and will only improve as more and more downloadable content becomes available, but there are a few downsides. The first is that there is no Freestyle mode: it would have been fantastic to have been able to create your own mini-mixes. The peripheral, too, takes some getting used to and can be a little slippery at times, but it's well made and on the Expert difficulty setting it really feels like it's not just a slab of plastic, as each and every movement corresponds to the nuances of the track. It's pricey, sure; but it's also a lot of fun, and with 93 mash-ups to choose from, there's a lot of content here to be had.
In today’s news roundup we hear how things have gone from bad to worse for Infinity Ward in the build up to the release of the long awaited Modern Warfare 2. We take a look at Nintendo's latest profit forecasts which predict a dramatic decline in sales for the Nintendo Wii. Finally, we bring news of the latest rankings from the UK’s All-Format Game’s Chart and why it’s been a disappointing start for Activison’s DJ Hero.
Things haven’t exactly been easy for Infinity Ward these past few weeks. Having come under fire after their latest addition to the Call of Duty Series – Modern Warfare 2 – was leaked by a French gamer who uploaded footage on Youtube, the company has now found itself at the centre of a furious row after an alleged homophobic gag. This came in the wake of a video recently posted by the Modern Warfare 2 developers regarding online player’s overuse of grenades. Although it featured mild swearing, it was the video’s use of the slogan Fight Against Grenade Spam (FAGS) which had many fans and games journalists in uproar.
Jumping on the bandwagon, livid writers and bloggers immediately began a tirade of criticism against Infinity Ward’s use of the derogatory acronym. Whilst many felt it was insensitive and tactless for the development company to use the term FAGS at all, some saw Infinity Ward’s thoughtless jest as an attempt to appeal to the ‘hateful underbelly’ of the online gaming community which, some argued, was even worse. Before acknowledging that he found it pretty funny, ‘I think the core gag is great’, manager Robert Bowling immediately withdrew the video from Youtube.[Negativegamer]
For six years Nintendo have been riding the crest of a wave and raking in some of the most obscene profits ever seen by a game’s corporation – totalling a record 279.1 billion yen last year alone. But now it appears that the company’s profit margins have finally peaked with Nintendo being forced to lower their full-year profit forecast from 300 billion yen to 230.
This came after the company announced a massive 52 per cent drop in sales for the fiscal period April – September, with profits totalling 69.49 billion yen compared with 144.83 for the same period the previous year. This will certainly be great news for Nintendo Wii haters – the story attracted comments such as ‘The fad is over!’ - but with six years of uninterrupted, meteoric growth, it’s unlikely that Nintendo bosses have much to complain about. [1UP]
It’s true that Activision developers predicted a slow start for their latest interactive music game title DJ Hero. Bosses released a statement last week in which they described it as inevitable that a game about DJing wouldn’t have the same kind of appeal - right from the outset at least - as a title like Guitar Hero. Now, as if on cue, rankings from the UK’s All-Formats sales chart place DJ Hero right down at number 20 – Football Manager 2010 came in at number 1 narrowly beating off the Wii Fit Plus which came in at number 2 – which, despite their prediction, must leave Activision bosses slightly disappointed.
It remains to be seen whether or not DJ Hero will catch on and sales steadily increase in the way developers hope. In the build up to its release, Activison put a lot of emphasis on in-store demos where customers could get acquainted with their newest ‘Hero’ iteration. However, with such a low ranking, it appears that DJ Hero has, so far at least, failed to scratch the surface. [EuroGamer]
In today's news roundup we hear about game designer Warren Spectator and his mission to reinvent Mickey Mouse for the Ninetndo Wii's Epic Mickey. We bring news of Activison's underwhelming sales forecasts for their latest interactive music game title: DJ Hero. And finally, we take a look at the fierce debate surrounding Modern Warefare 2 which, in the wake of leaked footage from a French gamer, may very well feature an optional 3rd person view.
Best known for his futuristic FPS/RPG hybrid Deus Ex, game designer Warren Spector has revealed in an interview with Game Informer details regarding his latest commission to work on 'Epic Mickey' for the Nintendo Wii. Initially refusing Disney executives request to take on the project because, in his words, Disney had done such a great job of making Mickey 'irrelevant to anyone over the age of eight' (adding 'I don't make games for kids'), Spectator finally agreed after he was given a free hand to 'reinvigorate and reinvent' the character as he saw fit.
Although he described his task as 'probably impossible', Spectator seemed positive regarding his decision to revert back to the classic Mickey character from the 1920s and 30s. 'Mischievous is the nice way to put it.' he said, 'He was a badly behaved mouse. He was a troublemaker. I want to see people going out there and saying, 'I want to be Mickey Mouse.' Spectator explained that his choice to produce Epic Mickey for the Nintendo Wii stemmed from the fact that the console had the most relevant demographic.
Although he clearly relishes the opportunity to redefine one of the most iconic animated characters ever, Spectator acknowledged that trying to get Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 gamers to cast aside their copies of GTA and Halo and cry 'I want to be Mickey Mouse' might be a step too far even for him... [Eurogamer]
With interactive music games diversifying into ever more extreme areas, one can only wonder what the future has in store. Could we see the likes of Piano Hero, Violin Hero, Accordion Hero, or what about even... Harmonica Hero? The possibilities seems endless, but although Activison's DJ Hero might be eagerly anticipated by some, Red Octane co-founder Kai Huang explained that initial sales forecasts predict a slow start for the latest 'Hero' sequel. He believes that people just don't know what to expect from a Djing game and therefore, like Guitar Hero, it may take several editions before DJ Hero really takes off.
Despite a fair amount of skepticism and the belief that a Djing game will never have the same kind of appeal as a guitar title, Activision are taking a gamble which many people (including myself) hope pays off. After all, Guitar Hero's ability to expose classic rock music to younger generations - completely over-saturated by commercial pop music – was one of its greatest achievements. Similarly, Dj Hero could could well provide a bit of notoriety for some of the more underground music scenes and get people actually appreciating the skills of Djs and turntablists in the same way as other musicians. [1up]
With the release of Modern Warfare 2 only a few weeks away, Infinity Ward must feel almost like nailing large pieces of crooked wood to the windows in the wake of all the recent rumors and speculation. Now, after supposedly getting hold of a leaked copy of Modern Warfare 2 for the Playstation 3, a French gamer has released a video on Youtube – with extremely low resolution footage – which apparently depicts an optional 3rd person view mode. Infinity Ward has yet to comment on the leak, but many people remain unconvinced; arguing that the grainy footage could simply be someone watching an in game reply. In the end it seems that only time will tell... [GiantBomb]
Activision steals the show on today’s news roundup, asking incredible amounts of money for their games as well as threatening to stop supporting altogether. We also see Capcom bringing their classics to today’s generation, and Splinter Cell: Conviction being short enough for everyone to enjoy.
The gaming market is booming in spite of the current recession, but Sony still seem to struggle with the PS3. Technically it offers the best choice for gamers, offering Blu-Ray and IBM chips with enough juice to power a supercomputer, but this unique hardware is making it harder and more expensive for game designers to bring their games to the PS3.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said “Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation”. Recommending they cut the price of their games, otherwise seeing a drop in sales, even going as far as to suggest “we might have to stop supporting Sony”. [Fool]
Activision boasts that DJ Hero is “tremendous value” for money at only £107.99. Nearly being the price of an Xbox 360 or 3 regular games, retailers has condemned the price point. Activision previously released the Guitar Hero game and controller for £70 and now must feel it is time to squeeze even more money out of their customers. DJ Hero will be released in November at hopefully a more affordable price. [EuroGamer]
Maxime Beland told Official Xbox Magazine that Splinter Cell: Conviction will be approximately 12 Hours long, the reason being “I want people to play my games and finish them” as he put it. Games have continually been getting shorter and shorter in a battle to keep the attention of today’s gaming generation, who may be distracted by things such as sunshine, food or other social beings.
The game will feature a normal mode and a realistic mode which will be “really f***ing hard”. To make up for the short single player Splinter Cell: Conviction will concentrate on an explosive multiplayer experience, giving the game more life. [Oxm]
Eidos have lacked great titles the past two holiday seasons. Kane & Lynch and Tomb Raider: Underworld failed to impress, something Eidos president Ian Livingstone plans to change.
He believes “2009 will be remembered as the year of 'roast duck or no dinner’, suggesting games will either be great, or not so great. Livingstone believes Batman: Arkham Asylum will be this year’s roast duck dinner for Eidos. Yum. [GamesIndustry]
Capcom are contributing a large selection of their past catalogue to the PlayStation Network. Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed including the likes of Strider and Bionic Commando is the first released, although only playable on the PSP due to being a port of the UMD version of the game. Other UMD ports include Mega Man powered up and Street fighter Alpha 3 Max. PS1 ports of Dino Crisis and Resident Evil 2 & 3. [1UP]