The Very Best of the Rest
There are several artists with sales in the 100 million range. We'll take a quick look at some of the most notable, listing some brief thoughts as to the likelihood of a band-centric music game. The number of songs currently released on either the Rock Band or Guitar Hero platforms are noted.
Bon Jovi - 120 million sales (3 songs in RB, 2 in GH)
A strong candidate, with recent popularity, a large body of work, and star appeal.
Bruce Springsteen - 120 million sales (2 songs in GH)
The only strike against the Boss is genre. Would his music work in a band game?
David Bowie - 140 million sales (1 song in RB, 1 song in GH)
Strong sales and a definite lasting appeal, but best known as a solo artist.
Deep Purple - 100 million sales (1 song in RB, 2 in GH)
A classic band, but apart from a Saturday Night Live skit, not much recent exposure.
Dire Straits - 120 million sales (no songs available)
They truly are "Guitar Heroes", but lack enough long-term popularity for a full game.
The Eagles - 120 million sales (4 songs in GH)
A strong possibility, with a recent album and current tour. Could support a full game if solo member tracks were included.
Fleetwood Mac - 100 million sales (1 song in both RB and GH)
Sustained popularity for years, but largely absent from the charts for 2 decades.
Guns 'N Roses - 100 million sales (13 songs in RB, 2 in GH)
To say the band's history is tumultous is an understatement. Plus, with a large number of tracks already available, a GNR game seems unlikely.
U2 - 150 million sales (no songs available)
Another front runner. Critical acclaim, sustained popularity, and mega star power make U2 a good choice.
The Who - 100 million sales (12 songs in RB, 1 in GH)
Hot off the Super Bowl appearance, and with an established relationship with Harmonix, the rumors of The Who Rock Band will likely come to fruition.
If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that there are plenty of options out there for new band-centric music games. Even without straying far from the hard rock genre, there are several bands who could support a game devoted to their music. For a time, many wondered if music video games were merely a passing fad. Years of excellent sales for such games have proved that music games are here to stay. Bands should embrace this new medium, and allow their music to reach a whole new generation of fans who want to experience music in video game form.
As of right now, the only future music game we know of is Green Day Rock Band. This is a bit unusual, given the large amount of titles released last year. Has the genre reached the point of saturation? It could be. Or, perhaps Harmonix and Activision are merely focusing their efforts on downloadable content. There are, however, some things you just can't do in DLC. A shift from collections of different types of music to band-centric titles could be just what the music game genre needs. In the meantime, we can all wonder: Who's Next?