Rock Band could be resurrected. That's what a new report is saying about the music-rhythm game that used to be all the rage back in the day. There are some missing details on the specifics, but the general gist is that the once-popular brand will be making a return for the Xbox One and PS4.
Bloomberg has a fairly detailed article about the history of the music-rhythm genre, offering a detailed take on the market value and eventual mind-share decline of the properties, including Rock Band and its rival Guitar Hero.
The article notes that someone close to the project mentioned that Rock Band is in development for Microsoft and Sony's eighth-gen consoles.
The article also states...
“Speculation regarding another Rock Band title began after Harmonix released two add-on songs for Rock Band 3 on Tuesday. The game maker also sent out a poll in January, surveying consumer interest in an updated Rock Band for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.”
Market surveys aren't always guarantees that a new game is on the way or that the particular ideas addressed in the survey will be acted upon. I mean, Ubisoft conducts surveys all the time for their games and sometimes they actually come true, such as their survey from way back in 2011 for Call of Juarez and asking gamers if they would like to see a sequel. Apparently gamers wanted to see several sequels. Ubisoft also took the opportunity to use consumer surveys to gauge interest in what direction they might take Far Cry 5. So, as mentioned, a market survey isn't a guarantee about what we'll see but most companies who are serious about putting money into market research are usually serious about seeing some kind of result from that research (especially if there's a lot of positive consumer feedback).
In regards to Rock Band, the music-rhythm genre tanked so bad it's kind of hard to see it coming back in the same kind boon it had back in 2008, where Bloomberg reports that the sub-genre peaked with more than 18% of market saturation. According to Viacom's CEO, Philippe Dauman, the music-rhythm genre has a market valuation of less than 1%.
While the article notes that Cowen & Co., analyst Doug Creutz stated that the reason gamers fled the Rock Bands and Guitar Heroes was because...
“After a while, people got tired of it,” ... “I don’t think they stopped gaming -- a lot went to Facebook and mobile.”
This is partially true. However, another reason was that there was over-saturation. Activision had new DLC for Guitar Hero games coming out nearly every other week and Rock Band was kind of running into the same problem. There was also new Guitar Hero games coming out in quick succession between 2008 and 2010, leading to more content than what was in demand from consumers. The Tony Hawk Pro-Skater franchise suffered the same fate; too many games released within a short amount of time and sporting little or innovation. This tactic eventually stifled the market.
Bringing back something like Rock Band may not be a bad idea, but moderation is key. The idea is that the audience interested in the product has to crave it and there has to be a fine balance between supply and demand. Another influx of music-rhythm games flooding the Xbox One and PS4 could cause another rise and fall of band-music games on the home consoles.