XBox 360 Features
What's a fair price for Guitar Hero II songs?
By Casey Lynch Apr 13, 2007, 16:02 GMT
Major Nelson explains the pricing strategy for GHII songs.
But what’s a fair price for downloadable Guitar Hero II songs for the Xbox 360? Is 500 MS points ($6.25) for 3 songs too much? And what if its old songs from the original Guitar Hero, which all the current song packs are?
We’ve heard a lot of people crying “rip-off,” but Major Nelson (a.k.a. Larry Hryb) says nay. Major Nelson, a.k.a Larry Hryb, Xbox Live Director of Programming, explained his take on the GHII pricing structure in a recent interview.
In case you haven’t been keeping up, the Guitar Heo II three-packs have (you guessed it) three songs and cost 500 MS points, or over $2 per song. Many fans balked and compared the cost to iTunes downloads which on average are no more than one dollar. Hryb, on the other hand, doesn't think it's fair to compare the DLC to iTunes songs because of licensing, interactivity and other issues.
"It's not like you go to iTunes, and you're buying the same thing," he said. "There's testing that's involved, and there's also licensing involved. There's a lot of elements involved. When there's music involved, that brings up a lot of licensing issues. ... It's roughly about $2 a song that you can play over and over. You can't get interactivity with a song on iTunes, and I don't want to defend it: it is what it is." He then added, "We worked with RedOctane to work on prices that make sense, and they clearly can't sell it at a loss. They have to pay the rights licensing."
Gamers have also complained that songs ought to be available as individual songs and not sold in packs where some feel like they’re forced to buy extra songs along with the one song they really want, especially considering Microsoft is all about giving consumers "choice." Certainly they can find a way to work out an individual downloads structure, right?
Take it away, Nelson.
"We've talked about what it takes to get content onto Marketplace. You guys know: it has to be processed, it has to be developed. Is it easier to process one song and release it and would have it to be more expensive? Or can you take some of that development, bundle it together, and drop the price down," Hryb said. "All those songs have to go through that process. If you have three songs entering the approval process, individually, that's three times more problems--and there's more probability for error. So, let's bundle them together, and test them as a unit and drive the price down."
One thing we (and a lot of you) have thought about is if Activision/RedOctane release most of the songs on the original Guitar Hero at the current pricing, you could end up paying close to the whopping $90 price tag of Guitar Hero II if you were to download all the songs. Hmm.
What do you think? Too much? Fair price? Let us know and we'll let you know if they drop the price, or heaven forbid, think the price isn't high enough and jack it up.