Activision should acquire Rock Band

Publisher Activision’s only chance of prospering in the music genre is to attempt to acquire the Rock Band IP from MTV owner Viacom, one US analyst has claimed.

Its recent release Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock has got off to a rocky start in the US, with opening weekend sales of just 86k units.

It’s not fared that well critically, either, with a current Metacritic average of just 72 per cent. By contrast, the upcoming Rock Band 3 has a current average of 94 per cent.

We believe Activision’s best option at this point would be to approach Viacom with idea of (re)merging the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises through a sale or joint venture agreement,” Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creatz stated.

Despite an attempt to renew interest in the Guitar Hero franchise with new gameplay options and an epic track from Rush, the music genre appears headed for a round-trip back to where it stood prior to the explosion of the Guitar Hero phenomenon back in 2006-07.

We expect the two GH titles to struggle to sell 1m units combined in the US during Q4 2010, versus our prior expectation of roughly 2.5m total US units. The only silver lining is that the music genre should cease to be a focus of investor concerns as it has now become fairly immaterial to overall results.”

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