MTV Wants to End “Format War” with Guitar Hero

Rock HeroWell now, this is interesting. In a video interview with paidContent,  MTV Games senior VP Paul DeGooyer (man, that guy is everywhere lately) was asked about how the Rock Band franchise is doing against Guitar Hero. Of course he did mention that Rock Band is doing quite well, thank you, but he also dropped this bit of intriguing commentary:

“[The Rock Band-vs.-Guitar Hero competition] does the consumer a disservice. … What we really should be looking at is: what is right for the consumer? I don’t think the consumer wants a format war. We all have our strengths … [but] I don’t think anyone can afford to continue to have this shooting war. The consumer is telling us pretty clearly, ‘we’re interested in playing these games on the platform — make it easier for us.’”

Now, my guess is that what he’s mainly talking about is instrument compatibility, and ensuring that future instruments fully support all music games. But then again, we’re most of the way there already — so why bring it up?

Let me tell you, in terms of addressing the “format war,” this consumer would love to be able to play Guitar Hero DLC in Rock Band, and (occasionally) vice versa. But unless MTV has some very major acquisitions planned, I don’t see a chance in hell of that happening.

Other interesting tidbits from the interview include DeGooyer confirming an “acceleration of interest” from big acts following The Beatles: Rock Band; also: some thought-provoking comments about “gestural” interaction with music games and consumers not being able to “get over the plastic instrument.” Natal-based Rock Band confirmed?

I’ve embedded the video after the break so you can hear for yourself what DeGooyer has to say. What’s your interpretation of this whole format war thing?

UPDATE: There have been some interesting theories coming out of this interview that may interest you.

[Read, via Gamasutra]


  1. DJ Pooka says:

    To be honest it’s something I’ve seen as a possibility, and one that makes a hell of a lot of sense. I don’t play the guitar hero games (much – I’ll try every now and then) because I don’t enjoy the charting or the engine, but there’s a lot of songs on the various Guitar Heroes I’d love to be able to play in RB – I know we keep getting them slowly, but some I don’t think will ever come across…

    If they do make the two cross compatible, one things for sure – I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive and a better job so I can afford to feed my addiction!

  2. Mike says:

    I don’t really understand how Natal could possibly be used to improve the music game genre. Sure, plastic instruments might be intimidating or lame – I’m not sure how not having them would improve either situation. Air guitar or air drums? Yuck.

  3. You Rocker says:

    It’s pretty clear that the world is waiting for something more, something like the real guitar, something that really sounds like a guitar and feels like one too. Enter the You Rock Guitar, seen at CES and NAMM rocking in the free world. Real guitar for real gamers? Perhaps its true.


  4. Mr F says:

    Get rid of the consistent garbage that is GH and problem solved.