RockSmith: The Authentic Music Game Experience

Category: SME-Manufacturer: New Product / Service Introduction
Brand/Client: Rocksmith / Ubisoft
Lead Agency: Midnight Oil Creative

State of the brand's business

Around 2007, the music game category became a major force in the gaming industry. Guitar Hero and Rock Band gave users the illusion of performing in a rock band, using plastic "instruments" that were mapped to the keys of a gamepad. For a few years, the phenomenon appeared unstoppable. But just as quickly as the genre exploded, it declined. Revenue for the genre dropped from over $1.8 billion in 2008 to just under $400 million in 2010. When Rock Band 3 included the option to purchase expensive controllers that behaved closer to actual instruments, it met with weak sales. Power Gig—an early attempt to use a functioning guitar as a controller—was almost universally lambasted for its poor controller integration and uninteresting gameplay. The once-mighty Guitar Hero franchise was retired entirely. The precipitous drop of the category was among the biggest declines in gaming history, leaving consumers, the press, and retailers across the board extremely reluctant to give another music game a chance.