You know why there was no marketing for RB3?

MasterOfAwsumMasterOfAwsum Unsigned
edited November 2012 in Rock Band
Let's face it. The only people still playing Rock Band are the people are people like us on the forums, who simply can't get enough of it. People who love music, and love the feeling of playing along to their favorite songs on a video game. Sure, Rock Band 2 sold millions of copies worldwide, but a majority of players got tired of it after a couple years.

Let's take a look at Guitar Hero. The first game was released in 2006, which made a breakthrough for music video games because it was something no one had ever seen before. Then with the second and third games, the popularity grew and Activision was suddenly making tons of cash off of this franchise. But then, with Guitar Hero: World Tour not doing as well (and Rock Band 2 selling lots of copies), things started to turn around. So they thought "How about we start advertising the crap out of Guitar Hero, to get more people to buy it!" Guitar Hero 5 launched, and they didn't make back the money that they lost from all the advertising. A year later, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock came out, and despite its 93-song metal setlist, new storyline, exclusive Megadeth song, and Soundgarden tie-in, no one liked it and they had no choice but to end the series.

Harmonix was smart with Rock Band. Very smart, actually. By the time Rock Band 3 came out, everyone was sick of hearing about music games. People were done. They realized that the number of people that still played these games was merely a fraction of the people who had originally bought them. However, the people who still did play them were very faithful to the series, always buying DLC, posting on the forums, participating in online games, and more. So Harmonix thought "Hey, if we release a new Rock Band game, the Rock Band fans will know about it regardless of how much we advertise." It would have been pointless to waste money on advertising. So they didn't.

The game was completely aimed at Rock Band fans, and they weren't trying to reach out to the general public. They didn't take any risks like Guitar Hero did, like adding a strange storyline or advertising on every street corner. Notice how Rock Band 3 was not sold in a giant box set with all the instruments, because Rock Band fans already had those instruments. And this actually worked out very well for them. DLC is still a big money maker for Harmonix, and almost everyone who still enjoys Rock Band has paid money Rock Band 3.

Then Rock Band Blitz came out in August 2012. Two years after GH:WoR. People hadn't heard anything about music games for a while (except maybe Rocksmith, but remember Rocksmith is one player, Rock Band is more of a party game). People were ready for something new. And Rock Band Blitz was very new. The game is unlike anything people have seen before, and what's brilliant about it is that it reminds people that the Rock Band franchise still exists, but at the same time it's not the game with five colored frets on a plastic guitar that people were sick of by now. Best of all, you could play it with a normal controller, so they were clearly reaching out to people who had sold their plastic instruments, or otherwise just did not care about Rock Band at all anymore. If they had advertised Rock Band 3 more, people would not care about Blitz because they would be tired of hearing about Rock Band related things. This, I believe was the best business strategy for Harmonix. Try to sell to Rock Band faithfuls with Rock Band 3, then try to sell to the mainstream, general public with Blitz.

What do you think? Was there something Harmonix could have done better along the way? Do you think Rock Band 3 would have done well if they had advertised it?

Comments

  • dog037dog037 This Many Days Since Last Ban:
    edited November 2012
    Rock Band has always had a low key approach compared to Guitar Hero, especially Guitar Hero 3 and World Tour.
  • TubaDude49TubaDude49 Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Doc_SoCal;4924105 said:


    I feel like I saw tons of RB3 TV commercials leading up to and right after release.

    I remember seeing a ton for Rock Band 2 all the time, but I never saw a single RB3 commercial.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    dog037;4924112 said:
    Rock Band has always had a low key approach compared to Guitar Hero, especially Guitar Hero 3 and World Tour.

    The marketing for GH3 was way too much IMHO.
  • SirDavidTLynchSirDavidTLynch Headliner
    edited November 2012
    I'm not sure why it matters at this point. The game must have done all right for Harmonix to continue to produce DLC two years later.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    TubaDude49;4924116 said:
    I remember seeing a ton for Rock Band 2 all the time, but I never saw a single RB3 commercial.

    I never saw any commercials. The only thing I saw for RB2 was in the Buy More in the ''Chuck'' TV serie.
  • mikeytsmikeyts Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    I saw this ad fairly often, though I can't remember what I was watching. Also there was this silly product placement in an episode of Gossip Girl (which I do not watch--I read about it somewhere); it features the keyboard and Mustang. They're playing Band of Skulls' "I Know What I Am" which isn't an RB3 song (it's RBN 1, released about 7 months before RB3 launched) and doesn't have any pro charts.
  • WIIBARONWIIBARON Opening Act
    edited November 2012
    Old business mantra: When times are good,you should advertise. When times are bad, you MUST advertise. The new direction of Blitz should be advertised to bring in new users and hopefully have these people gravitate over to your main business. Think Lattes at McDonalds. So far. the highest selling song on Blitz sold 14k.[RBScores] Not very good. The average is about 10k. At .60 per song, I don't believe they made much profit. They decided to remove 25% of their potential customer base{Wiiers}. Maybe I don't know the reasoning for their strategy, but businesswise it doesn't seem to be a 'normal' marketing blueprint. I do hope RB lives on for years to come
  • LiveHomeVideoLiveHomeVideo Trying too hard
    edited November 2012
    mikeyts;4924121 said:
    Also there was this silly product placement in an episode of Gossip Girl (which I do not watch; I read about it somewhere); it features the keyboard and Mustang.

    Whelp I can gladly say that I liked the product placement for GH on The Smurfs better. And I stil through a table at the TV with that.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    WIIBARON;4924122 said:
    They decided to remove 25% of their potential customer base{Wiiers}
    You think the Wii has 25% of their customers? I think it's more like this: xbox 60%, ps3 30%, wii 10%.
  • Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    SirDavidTLynch;4924118 said:
    I'm not sure why it matters at this point. The game must have done all right for Harmonix to continue to produce DLC two years later.
    Especially since they went and bought themselves away from MTVGames. The panic is because people think they should be doing better. 'Acceptably profitable' isn't good enough, apparently.
    Alternity;4924124 said:
    You think the Wii has 25% of their customers? I think it's more like this: xbox 60%, ps3 30%, wii 10%.

    Don't mind him. He's been grinding that axe for a while now. It's getting pretty dull.
  • rkbdgurlrkbdgurl Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    I think they could use a new marketing strategy. I'm still telling Best Buy associates that RB is still alive and kicking. Unfortunatly many people mistakenly believe Rockband and HMX went the way of Guitar Hero. :(
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    rkbdgurl;4924156 said:
    I think they could use a new marketing strategy. I'm still telling Best Buy associates that RB is still alive and kicking. Unfortunatly many people mistakenly believe Rockband and HMX went the way of Guitar Hero. :(

    Screw Best Buy, I had the money for a Squier when it came out, and I couldn't find any in my region because Best Buy refused to sell the Squier in my country (Canada). This is so stupid, I've searched on forums and I wasn't the only one whining about it.
  • TubaDude49TubaDude49 Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924120 said:
    I never saw any commercials. The only thing I saw for RB2 was in the Buy More in the ''Chuck'' TV serie.
    Mostly this(and it's variants)
    Occasionally this
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    TubaDude49;4924174 said:
    Mostly this(and it's variants)
    Occasionally this

    Wow, they are all xbox commercials, that's kinda sad, even if at least half of their costumers are on xbox. And I never saw them on TV, I don't listen to much TV in english though, I usually buy/download my series and stuff and when I watch TV it's french channels, so might explain it because I've yet to see that in french, I'd probably laugh at the translation anyways XD.
  • Pitch-BlackPitch-Black Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Would RB 3 have sold better had more people even known about it or what it has to offer? I think the answer is obvious. It still wouln't have broke any records, but all the same, it would have should have done better. When stores that sell your game and customers that might buy your game actually believe your game is dead and your company is sunk WHEN IT'S NOT TRUE, well, that's because you're not telling them otherwise.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Well the pro mode wasn't really advertised, except on gaming wbesites, and among gamers. I'm pretty sure that if they have made a commercial about it, it would've bring more people.

    Oh wait, I bought a used Mustang and the dude sold it to me for 80$ barely used, he sais good luck with that, it's hella hard when I bought it. I guess alot of people sold it because it was too hard to learn? There was a time where I saw many advertising about people selling used Mustangs, but nowadays it's kinda hard to find one, I guess if a new player comes and wants a Mustang he's gonna have to dig hard, because I searched for about a month for mine sooner this year, and there was only two people selling a Mustang in Montr
  • mikeytsmikeyts Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    TubaDude49;4924174 said:
    Mostly this(and it's variants)
    Occasionally this
    They're both RB2 ads; the OP is talking about advertisement of RB3.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    mikeyts;4924191 said:
    They're both RB2 ads; the OP is talking about advertisement of RB3.

    And I was talking about RB2 because someone else did. He simply answered to me, not to the OP.
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited November 2012
    The only place I ever saw a commercial for anything RB-related was YouTube.

    I don't watch a ton of TV, but I do some. I've seen DC commercials.
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924183 said:
    Wow, they are all xbox commercials, that's kinda sad, even if at least half of their costumers are on xbox.

    RB? It's more like 3/4. It's about 70-ish percent Xbox, 25 percent PS3, 5-ish percent Wii.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4924200 said:
    RB? It's more like 3/4. It's about 70-ish percent Xbox, 25 percent PS3, 5-ish percent Wii.

    I've said 60% xbox, 30% PS3 and 10% wii in an earlier post in this thread, I was pretty close to your thinking, and I said at least the half, since I'm not entirely sure how much people are on each consoles.
  • mikeytsmikeyts Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924190 said:
    Well the pro mode wasn't really advertised, except on gaming wbesites, and among gamers. I'm pretty sure that if they have made a commercial about it, it would've bring more people.
    This TV ad does; it features people playing the Squier, Mustang and keyboard with cymbals on the drum kit and multiple microphones (all pro band). There are quotes from reviews praising the pro modes and the little voice-over at the end mentions them: "Rock Band 3, now with keyboards, real instrument game modes and support for over 2000 songs."

    I posted a poll shortly after lauch asking whether people had seen that ad; most respondents hadn't and the largest group who had saw it non-primetime on a cable network.
  • Pitch-BlackPitch-Black Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    As a note on RB 3's alleged less than stellar sales: on the 360, from what I can tell, the game has remained pretty popular in digital sales. It's listed as second only in popularity to Skyrim (Halo Waypoint doesn't count) and more popular over all than COD: Black Ops. That seems to contradict what a lot of people seem to believe about the sales of RB 3.
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924204 said:
    I've said 60% xbox, 30% PS3 and 10% wii in an earlier post in this thread, I was pretty close to your thinking, and I said at least the half, since I'm not entirely sure how much people are on each consoles.

    There's a bit of overlap, yes (I primarily play on PS3, but I also have the game for Xbox), so it's tough to say for certain. 10 percent Wii is definitely too high, though.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    mikeyts;4924205 said:
    This TV ad does; it features people playing the Squier, Mustang and keyboard with cymbals on the drum kit and multiple microphones (all pro band). There are quotes from reviews praising the pro modes and the little voice-over at the end mentions them: "Rock Band 3, now with keyboards, real instrument game modes and support for over 2000 songs."

    I posted a poll shortly after lauch asking whether people had seen that ad; most respondents hadn't and the largest group who had saw it non-primetime on a cable network.

    I've never saw this, I saw a youtube video before RB3 release at E3 of people playing BoRhap in it's entirely with keys and harmonies, and a short video of someone playing RitD on pro guitar at E3 too. I've never seen anything releated to RB on any QC TV channels, or the few US/english CAN channels that I have access to. Their advertising wasn't that big, it was propably restricted to some TV channels or something.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4924208 said:
    There's a bit of overlap, yes (I primarily play on PS3, but I also have the game for Xbox), so it's tough to say for certain. 10 percent Wii is definitely too high, though.

    I was referring to the time I was playing on wii though, it was kinda active at that time. I have no idea if it's still active (aka being able to find random people at any hour).
  • mikeytsmikeyts Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Pitch-Black;4924207 said:
    As a note on RB 3's alleged less than stellar sales: on the 360, from what I can tell, the game has remained pretty popular in digital sales. It's listed as second only in popularity to Skyrim (Halo Waypoint doesn't count) and more popular over all than COD: Black Ops.
    It has been said that they're counting compatible DLC sales in that. The day after Blitz released it was showing up as the highest selling XBL Arcade game of all time :D.
  • mikeytsmikeyts Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924209 said:
    Their advertising wasn't that big, it was propably restricted to some TV channels or something.
    9%+ respondents to my poll reported seeing it in primetime on a major network. I don't think that it ran for more than a few months.
  • TheHundredDollarHeadacheTheHundredDollarHeadache Pedantic Broken Record
    edited November 2012
    Someone brought up something about how the game now was made for the core crowd. It seems that most of that core crowd is the score-grind type. Most of the attrition was among the partiers and role-players. The role-player was always a minority, but now I seem to be the only remaining representative still highly active on these forums.

    The score fiends are easy to please at this point - keep the DLC coming, preferably with more involved instrument parts. Witness the complaints in the DLC thread when something weak on instruments comes out. I hope that when the time for RB4 comes (maybe after another new IP, and hopefully before they even think about DC4), that they flesh out the game some. Maybe some of those score fiends will give it a chance and like it.
  • Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    Alternity;4924210 said:
    I was referring to the time I was playing on wii though, it was kinda active at that time. I have no idea if it's still active (aka being able to find random people at any hour).

    There is no real way to gauge current player base. Not without access to LIVE/PSN/Wii online, anyway. The usual method to extrapolate the numbers is to pick a song everybody has and is likely to be highly popular and then count the number of top 1% scores, multiply them by 100 and then you end up with a rough estimate of the number of players in toto on a particular console.

    It isn't perfect because it doesn't count people who don't play online, or didn't play a particular song, or whatever else might affect the numbers.

    But in general, in spite of what a few die-hards would have you believe, the Xbox has about twice as many players as the PS3 which has about ten times the number of players on the Wii. To put it in context:

    Xbox - 100
    PS3 - 50
    Wii - 5

    Also, it should be noted that a commercial for a multi-platform title may emphasise a particular console, it does not actually confirm or deny any particular sales/player base advantage that might exist. It mainly confirms a higher likelihood that a console manufacturer paid a little bit of money to get the larger exposure. If left up to the game maker, they'd probably just list the manufactuers at the end in alphabetical order and equal sized logos and leave it at that.

    Too many people read too much into little things like that.
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