Rock Band sales rock Viacom the wrong way

It’s been widely accepted the past few years that if your game has “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band” in the title, it’s going to sell better than your wildest dreams. Sadly for Viacom, the guys who tell MTV Games and Harmonix when to do their homework and brush their teeth, those dreams are over. Sort of. Looks like a 41% decline in Rock Band sales revenue has led to a 8% revenue decrease for Viacom’s Media Networks division, or a 12% decline in profit. We could dwell on numbers here, but the bottom line is, Rock Band isn’t selling like the perfect drug it once was. And it’s not just Rock Band.

However, Viacom is quick to point out that despite the decrease in retail sales, they’ve sold over 50 million songs and expect the steady rise of downloadable content to be a huge part of the long-term strategy. They’re also looking for The Beatles: Rock Band to save the day when it arrives this September, as Viacom chief exec Phillipe Dauman believes it “will change the way people look at music video games”.

I hope it does because the formula is becoming stale with unoriginality after the mega leap from two guitars to full band experience. At least Harmonix is trying something different with The Beatles and LEGO Rock Band this fall while Activision looks to over-saturate the market with Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero in the same Sep.-Nov. time span. Is anybody out there looking to pick up any of these fourRock Band Hero” games this holiday season?