The CEO of Activision's Guitar Hero business, Dan Rosensweig, has told GamesIndustry.biz that "variety and value" are the two key factors in the success of the franchise's latest release, Guitar Hero 5.
Speaking in an interview ahead of the launches later this year of DJ Hero and Band Hero, Rosensweig was delighted with the game's performance, which put sales in Europe at 2-to-1 better than EA rival The Beatles: Rock Band.
"This theme of this season was variety and value - variety of a series of great guitar songs - it's 82 artists and 85 songs," he said. "So we really focused on not even having too many songs by any one artist. That was deliberate, and that was what the fans had been advocating, and we wanted to give the fans what they want.
"The second this is value - that's a lot of songs for a USD 59 game. If you were to buy those 85 songs for your iPod it would cost you USD 85, and so the plastic (if you buy the guitar with it) for USD 99 in the US... you get 85 songs and a guitar, and a 91-rated game, and one of the most popular games as well.
"So that was the theme - and then within the game the innovations were really around party play, any grouping of instruments, more instruments, jump in-jump out, the lower levels were more inviting to people so you couldn't get booed off the stage, and at the higher levels your friends could win you back in the game so you didn't ruin it for everybody... all of it was about it being more social, more inviting and just as much fun - while at the higher levels being more sophisticated and more competitive.
"We're pretty happy, and as you look at the European sales and our ability to outsell The Beatles: Rock Band 2-to-1 on their home field... that would suggest it was a good decision."
The full first part of the interview with Dan Rosensweig is available now.