DJ Hero developers FreeStyleGames has told Develop that the music industry is starting to become “a lot more receptive to games”, after the Guitar Hero phenomenon has aided musicians in new and lucrative ways.
Speaking in an interview published today, FreeStyleGames Studio Manager Kevin McSherry says that the music industry is starting to recognise that “the games industry is a credible media partner, which offers them an opportunity to take their music to a big, wide audience that it cannot touch through radio or record sales or TV.”
McSherry’s statement follows multiple reports on how numerous bands, musicians and record labels have profited from the popularity of Activision’s music game enterprise.
It is said, for example, that Aerosmith has made more money from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than from any of its own albums.
In December last year The Washington Post reported that many old songs re-released on both Guitar Hero and Rock Band subsequently saw sales rise as high as 843% on music download platforms like iTunes.
“Because of that influence, the music industry is a lot more receptive to games,” says McSherry, who tells Develop that production on DJ Hero has entered its crunch.
Back in November however, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger sparked an internet debate on the merit of Guitar Hero when declaring “kids: Start rock bands. Set down the Guitar Hero, learn how to play an actual guitar and start a band, because it's hard to find more bands to put a solid rock-and-roll package together, to get out there.”
McSherry was philosophical on the tensions between music and games: “It was only 45 years ago that people for the first time started playing records for people to dance to, and musicians were terrified that they no longer had a live gig. So I think for a long time musicians have always been, initially, unreceptive to new forms of media, but then find there feet with it.”
“In the same way guitar sales have gone through the roof as part of the enthusiasm surrounding Guitar Hero, we expect people will start getting into DJing as a result of experiencing this game,” he added.
The full interview with McSherry can be found here.