The SingStar brand has reached an enviable milestone. Four years after the original game launched on PlayStation 2 in 2004, the franchise has shifted a total of 12 Million units throughout the PAL territories, 5 million of them in the Fiscal Year of 2007 (April 07 – March 08).
December 2007 saw the franchise move into the current generation on the PS3, breaking into a new business model of downloadable content and giving gamers the opportunity to purchase individual tracks by downloading them from SingStore. In SingStore’s first four months of trading, one million tracks were downloaded across the PAL region.
Paulina Bozek, executive producer of SingStar said, “Historically we have added new music tracks to keep the experience fresh but the arrival of PS3 has allowed us to think differently. The launch of SingStore and My SingStar Online is the realisation of this and the experience is now more user-focused, personalised and interactive.”
SingStar was arguably one of the first of what are now loosely termed “casual” games, in particular music sims, a genre now dominated by the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. This was reiterated by Mark Hardy, Director of Product Marketing of SCEE, “The term ‘social gaming’ is widely recognised in 2008 – however, it was relatively new when we launched the first SingStar. That game entered the charts at number one in many countries.”
Sony does seem slightly over keen to make themselves look like the pioneers of a genre that is now pretty much the forte of Nintendo and their ultra-mega-hyper-popular Wii and DS consoles. Either way, SingStar is certainly a title that has made its impression on the industry and, unless some tragedy should befall them, will continue to for some time to come.