Activision Considers Charging For User-Created Guitar Hero Content

Activision Considers Charging For User-Created Guitar Hero Content

image

Activision is apparently giving thought to charging for access to user-created content in Guitar Hero World Tour, saying it could be the "newest subscription opportunity" available to the company.

Guitar Hero World Tour is the first game in the series to let players create their own original music, which can then be uploaded to GH Tunes, Activision's online service for sharing user-created music. It doesn't sound like any great shakes right now - Fidgit describes it as "a wasteland of 'customsongs' that users didn't even bother to rename before uploading them and maybe the odd WANTACHIEVEMENT" - but to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, it's a potential goldmine.

"In just 10 days, our GH Tunes has attracted over 25,000 user-generated songs, which means we will likely have up to 100,000 songs by the year-end," Kotick said during Activision's second quarter earnings call for the fiscal year (transcribed at Seeking Alpha). "These songs are easily downloaded by consumers and the ability to offer these songs on a subscription basis may very well result the newest subscription opportunity in our portfolio."

It's an interesting concept, and I suppose props are due Mr. Kotick for his truffle hog-like ability to sniff out money just about everywhere he looks, but I have to wonder if this particular idea really has legs. If, as Fidgit says, the vast majority of user-created content on GH Tunes is garbage, then who's going to pay for it? And if Activision devotes the resources necessary to ensure that only worthwhile material gets posted, which would almost certainly result in a deathly thin selection of music on the service, then won't most users simply choose to blow their money on official DLC instead? It's the inevitable conundrum of charging for user-generated content: The little bit of it that isn't total crap isn't worth paying for.

Permalink

Does this mean they'll charge us to make the songs, or to access them online?

People! Vote with your money! Everyone go out and buy Rockband 2, fuck Guitar Hero, Activision NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON!

That's my song and I want the Internet moneh that comes from it, guy!

Seriously I doubt it will pass

My questions to GH:WT users and Activision is:

1) Is there a way to 'preview' a song first to know if it's an actual quality song? I'd hate to spend $.99 on user created DLC just to find the song is a measly 1 minute and sux.

2) Do user created songs also display the supposed difficulty level and instruments ala RB? Meaning is there a way to tell if drums or bass are in a song, and how hard they may be?

3) Play before you pay option? Maybe we can sample the DLC for 24 hours before we commit to purchase?

4) Is there a way to weed out multiple knockoffs of the same song? I can imagine with 100K songs by the end of the year, that there may be numerous versions of Copa Cabana...How will I know which is the uber track as opposed to the half-assed one?

Question 5 still has to be whether or not the artists get any sort of compensation from Activision for their works. I'm sure the EULA probably ends up saying "all your songs are belong to us", but still.

Alone Disciple:
4) Is there a way to weed out multiple knockoffs of the same song? I can imagine with 100K songs by the end of the year, that there may be numerous versions of Copa Cabana...How will I know which is the uber track as opposed to the half-assed one?

There can't be any copies of Copacabana, because it's a copyrighted song. I believe that's a limit on uploading user songs at all, even under the current system, that they are not allowed to be reproductions of copyrighted material.

That condition might not be enforced well now, but if they either became popular or Activision started charging, the music labels would be on them faster than you can say "Napster".

Wow, much like Second Life is going to change the laws on taxation, this may lead to new laws for copyright.

Think of it this way...
You buy a game, which is the property of X developer. As part of the EULA and copyright law as it stands now, you cannot resell the game in part, only the whole package or not at all. It is illegal and a violation of the EULA to sell game content (yeah, incase ya didn't realize, buying WoW gold or items thru Ebay is illegal).

Now when a player creates something, say a custom map, it's their creation but they still cannot sell it because it's also copyright to the game developer. But now, the developer is saying that while the user who creates custom content cannot profit from their creation, the developer has the right to resell the user's creation. This is going to lead to massive lawsuits, as the developer may own the game and in part, the custom content, the creator of the custom content is still granted legal rights to it, and would be by law (as it stands now) entitled to some or all of the money from the sale of their creation.

This can get very messy.

Hi, we're Activison. We would just like to take a moment to inform all concerned about the plan to charge for user created songs in our hit game, Guitar Hero: World Tour.
You do not need to worry, we are run by monkeys. Monkeys who are megalo maniacs with only money on their brain. Monkey's with the gall to say that user created content does not belong to the user, and that all user created content is nothing more then expansion material for the legal creators of the game to market. Needless to say, the monkey's are retarded. Powerful, angry, holding guns. But still retarded.

Alone Disciple:
My questions to GH:WT users and Activision is:

1) Is there a way to 'preview' a song first to know if it's an actual quality song? I'd hate to spend $.99 on user created DLC just to find the song is a measly 1 minute and sux.

2) Do user created songs also display the supposed difficulty level and instruments ala RB? Meaning is there a way to tell if drums or bass are in a song, and how hard they may be?

3) Play before you pay option? Maybe we can sample the DLC for 24 hours before we commit to purchase?

4) Is there a way to weed out multiple knockoffs of the same song? I can imagine with 100K songs by the end of the year, that there may be numerous versions of Copa Cabana...How will I know which is the uber track as opposed to the half-assed one?

1) Yes, it tells you the length of the song and how many notes for each instrument. It also lets you download and hear the audio.

2) No, it doesn't have difficulty ratings, and you can't actually see the chart.

3) No idea.

4) There is a rating system, so it is likely that the best version of a song (if they could do it) would wind up being the one you find.

That said, I'm fully against the idea.

TheNecroswanson:
Hi, we're Activison. We would just like to take a moment to inform all concerned about the plan to charge for user created songs in our hit game, Guitar Hero: World Tour.
You do not need to worry, we are run by monkeys. Monkeys who are megalo maniacs with only money on their brain. Monkey's with the gall to say that user created content does not belong to the user, and that all user created content is nothing more then expansion material for the legal creators of the game to market. Needless to say, the monkey's are retarded. Powerful, angry, holding guns. But still retarded.

That does sum it up exquisitely. Will Activision turn into EA?

No way... PLEASE do not charge us to make our own songs!! We already had to shell out 200 bucks to buy it and now we have to pay for a supposedly free feature. Thats completely moronic!

sv93:
No way... PLEASE do not charge us to make our own songs!! We already had to shell out 200 bucks to buy it and now we have to pay for a supposedly free feature. Thats completely moronic!

It's not charging to make your songs. It's charging to download them.

PedroSteckecilo:
People! Vote with your money! Everyone go out and buy Rockband 2, fuck Guitar Hero, Activision NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON!

... I know, but I'm basically Activision's beaten spouse, they can abuse me, but because of the earlier Tony Hawk games, I'm going to keep crawling back...

Still...thats completely idiotic! Why would you want to pay to download them! That should be able to be done for free. I'll probably get rockband 2 anyway though, I'll play my friends GH:WT.

Err, really?
I suppose they're going to remove any ability to read and write to removable media from the game, yes?
That's the only way I can see them to force people to use their download service as opposed to simply trading files in some other venue.
I mean, really? Has the man never watched South Park?

Fail.... with a PH instead of the F

fish food carl:
That does sum it up exquisitely. Will Activision turn into EA?

Haven't they already turned into the largest publisher out there, what with their recent acquisition of Blizzard? Well, even if they don't match the capital size of EA, they more than match the retardedness that is EA's head honchos.

Wow, first his "We can't exploit new IPs" Comment, and now that.

This Kotick Guy is really a rising star among the greatest douchebags in gaming.

I considered buying GH:WT alongside Rock Band 2 (Pretty much because it has "Pull me Under" and 2 or 3 other Songs RB2 hasn't), but after reading about about the dire state of the Music Creation Community and Activisions Plans to still squeeze some bucks out of it, thanks.

Now if just the two weeks before RB2 arrives (in germany) would go by faster...

That does sum it up exquisitely. Will Activision turn into EA?

They have been this bad for a long time, but since the spotlight of evil has been directed at EA's blunders for the most part no one has really noticed.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here