Music and Video Games: A Smash Hit

The gaming world eagerly awaits the launch of 'Rock Band 2.'

ByABC News
July 17, 2008, 8:35 AM

LOS ANGELES, July 17, 2008 — -- The singer testing out "Rock Band 2" -- a music simulation game -- is basically tone deaf. His version of Journey's "Anyway You Want It" sounds more like a William Hung remix than a lead singer Steve Perry original.

But that doesn't matter. He's hooked, and that's beautiful music to an industry flooding the market with similar new music video games this year.

At this week's E3 summit, the video game industry's biggest trade event of the year, nearly every company present is releasing some form of music game.

"Everyone is jumping on the music bandwagon," said Tommy Tallarico, a game composer recently inducted into the Guinness World Records for scoring more than 275 video games. "They all want a taste of the success of 'Guitar Hero' and 'Rock Band.'"

Let's put the success of "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," both musical simulation games, in perspective. In 2007, the revenue from both games made more money than all digital music downloads from services like iTunes. The two video games made a whopping $935 million, or $100 million more than all digital music sales, according to NPD and Nielsen SoundScan data.

Both the video game industry and the music industry are clambering to harness all the revenue making momentum these music games can muster.

Music Games Galore: A Mini Introduction

During E3, more games trying to break into the music genre were released than one could count.

Some of the big ones were: MTV and Harmonix's "Rock Band 2," Activision's "Guitar Hero World Tour," Nintendo's Wii Music, Microsoft's "Lips," Ultimate Band" by Disney Interactive Studios, and Konami's "Rock Revolution."

They're are all competing to cash in on the casual gamer crowd, says Guy Cocker, an editor for UK.

They all want to cash in on the growing number of gamers who aren't die hard fans, the same ones that helped the U.S. gaming industry post a record $17.9 billion in revenues last year and get on track to rack up even better sales figures this year.