Analyst: Activision Doesn't Need Warner Music for Guitar Hero

In recent history, Activision--publisher of the Guitar Hero series--and Warner Music--a massive record label with songs included in the music-rhythm games--have publicly played out a drama resembling an abusive relationship.

Famed gaming analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan has now chimed in on the troubled couple, bluntly telling Gamasutra that "Activision doesn't 'need' Warner Music at all."

Warner started the fire by publicly complaining that video game studios, whether selling Guitar Hero or Harmonix's rival series Rock Band, don't pay record labels enough money for the rights to use those songs in the games. Activision countered by saying that Warner lacked respect for Guitar Hero.

Pachter's reasoning is straightforward: "There are over one million songs out there--probably two million--and Activision is going to turn fewer than a thousand of them into Guitar Hero songs every year." Furthermore, "they don't need to deal with a label that represents less than 20 percent of artists."

At center of the controversy is Warner's claim that players buy rhythm games, and their downloadable songs, for the music. Pachter disagrees. "You buy Guitar Hero for the game, and the song creates the challenge. It's quite different from an iTunes download, where the only purpose is to listen to the music."

The Shacknews staff, meanwhile, humbly believes that appearance in a music game is good for sales.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 28, 2008 5:37 PM

    Pachter knows what he's talking about, the guys job is to forecast and analyze the market for chrissakes! I mean you shouldn't believe any statement blindly but he has a history of being pretty accurate and with numbers and such to back up his statement I think he has a point. I'm not going to be crying that certain bands didn't make it into my game, I'm going to be lauding the ones I do like. Warner has a stake in the music market but there are too many bands to say GH is dependent upon them.

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