The Guitar Hero II Cash-Grab Begins

Guitar Hero II released for the X360 last week at $80 and includes the hit game and the new X360-specific guitar. Fast forward just one week and the milking of the fans' wallets has already begun. Three separate music packs were made available today, each of which costs 500 Microsoft Points ($6.25) and contains just three measley songs from the original Guitar Hero game.

That's over $2 per song from a game that already sold more than anyone dared to predict.

The original Guitar Hero, with guitar, contained over 45 songs and cost just $50 (excluding guitar). That price included manufacturing, shipping, retail expenses, and so on and averaged out to about $1/song plus the manual and the other components of the game. Now they are going to sell those same songs, via download, well over a year later at a higher price?

Bullshit. Total bullshit.

At this price, to buy the primary 30 songs from Guitar Hero, you would end up paying over $60. That's 20% more than you actually paid for the PS2 version when the game was brand spankning new... back in 2005! And for just two-thirds of the songs!

I didn't complain about the price of Lumines on Live Arcade. I didn't raise an eyebrow at the price of Alien Hominid or the extra packs of cars for Test Drive Unlimited or Project Gotham Racing 3. But this? This is in a league of rip-offery that I thought only EA would ever make it to. Congratulations Red Octane and Activision, you've ruined the good will and word-of-mouth buzz that made your game so damn succesful in the first place.

And all this time, I thought it was going to be Harmonix's partnering with MTV that would bring Live Marketplace greed to a new level. Well done, guys.


JSC said...

I was genuinely surprised by the pricing. I was expecting maybe a $20-$30 cost for all the tracks from GH1...or individual downloads for $1 or thereabouts. $2 and change per song....forced bundling...I dunno 'bout this. .

Doug Walsh said...

I agree. $1/song would have been a bit high, but not so high as to be worth ranting about. This? This is ridiculous.

I've yet to pick up the X360 version of GH2 due to being busy (and refrained from buying the PS2 version knowing I wanted the X360 version) but I just got a bit less inclined to buy it at all.

By the way, I edited my initial post while you were commenting to add some other numbers.

JSC said...

I held off on the PS2 version and picked up the 360 version because I was under the impression that the downloadable content would be reasonably priced - that I'd be able to enjoy GHII and songs from GHI (and any future songs) all in one convenient package, so to speak.

Now it looks like I would have been better off getting the PS2 GHII game+guitar bundle and buying GHI by itself! How ridiculous is that?!