The final entry in this year’s Hero trilogy approaches in the form of Band Hero. With Guitar Hero already establishing itself amongst a mainstream audience, this title takes the franchise one step further, with much more family-friendly music and a significantly broader appeal.
The game gives kids the chance to open the ears of parents and even grandparents to the likes of Lilly Allen, Snow Patrol and Robbie Williams, while the elderly gamers can rediscover bands such as the Rolling Stones, Jackson 5 and Duran Duran.
“Band Hero is about bringing the magic of Guitar Hero to all the family,” says brand manager Jon Edney. “New stars will be born in living rooms across the country this Christmas as young and old come together to enjoy today's hottest hits alongside an array of classic anthems.”
“As well as a groundbreaking track list, Band Hero will incorporate all the innovative new social gameplay features that recently helped take Guitar Hero 5 to the top of the UK gaming chart. A new and improved drum kit is also being introduced, further enhancing the look, feel and realism of the full band experience. In short, it’s a game of firsts for all the family.”
New modes include Party Play and Rockfest, as well as a new Sing-A-Long mode for those looking for that pure karaoke experience. Band Hero will also see the arrival of multiple exclusive game modes for Nintendo fans that actually work across both Wii and DS.
Roadie Battle, for example, sees DS players attempt to sabotage their Wii guitar opponent’s performances, while Freestyle Stage Manager asks them to shape the filming and appearance of the Wii guitarist’s set. Wii owners can now even learn to air drum and for the first time ever have their very own customised Miis performing onscreen in a Hero title.
“The Guitar Hero series is going from strength to strength as it continues to evolve and innovate with every title,” says Edney. “Guitar Hero Metallica, Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero this year signalled the franchise’s commitment to making artists’ work across the entire musical spectrum accessible to all to interact with and enjoy, and Band Hero is just another step along this road.
“As a title it will be attracting a large number of first time music gamers to the category, something we are extremely excited about and we hope retailers will be too.
“Band Hero is to receive all the in-store support that the industry has come to expect from a Guitar Hero title with an array of high impact point of sale and powerful pre-order incentives tailored for this new audience.”
The prominence of the Hero franchise in the public mindset will already help to drive sales for Band Hero, but Activision is still arranging a comprehensive marketing campaign to raise awareness of the game. Drawing inspiration from its efforts with DJ Hero, the publisher is also in the process of securing partnerships with notable celebrity ambassadors.
Band Hero already features Taylor Swift in game – an artist widely tipped to take the UK by storm this Christmas having sold over 10 million albums worldwide, joining Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as a playable character.
“Having artists intimately involved in the development of our titles – not just the advertising – gives them a genuine passion for the game and in turn its promotion,” Edney says. “Jay-Z, Eminem and David Guetta are examples of global music icons that have got 100 percent behind DJ Hero. Band Hero’s supporting cast will be of an equally high calibre.”
In addition to a heavyweight TV campaign the franchise continues to pursue breakthrough marketing activities. Along this theme, Activision is also arranging some standout experiential activity for Band Hero.