Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Announcing CMJ PLAY

The NYU-MVGRP is proud to announce CMJ PLAY, a new joint-venture with the CMJ Music Marathon.

Press release here

Your humble professor's quote:
Samuel Howard-Spink, Clinical Assistant Professor of the Music Business Program at NYU / Founder of the NYU Music Video Game Research Project and CMJ Play curator says, “Interactive games are becoming the most significant media form in the entertainment and culture industries, and practically every single game or mobile app uses music in some way. This represents extraordinary opportunities for music creators and various tech companies to connect with the most engaged music fans and gamers. As participatory media overtakes passive consumption as the norm, the combination of music and gaming has the potential to provide more revenues to more creators and artists over the next decade than the recorded music business alone. This is the real future of music business, and CMJ Play is where this future will be discussed, debated, and forged.”

More frequent updates on the old twitter, I'll post more details here on the blog as they're revealed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prof Sam's latest music game tweets

Does "Net Neutrality" Mean a Golden Highway Paved By Gamers?

RT @TheEscapistMag Gorilla Tries to Play Nintendo DSi XL

@comScore "Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet"

RT @PCMag Soundgarden Album to Be Bundled with 'Guitar Hero' Game

Gaming Surpasses Email In Time Spent Online

Interview with Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi -

Disney sells Miramax -- meanwhile it's buying up gaming companies. Ooh dat crafty mouse... | The Atlantic Wire:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Get'em hot and fresh

Monday, March 15, 2010

OnLive Announces Dates and Prices

For those of you who have been following the development of OnLive, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. On their blog, OnLive announced that their service will launch June 17th during this years E3.

For those of you wondering what the hell I'm talking about, OnLive is a service that allows you to stream games directly onto your computer or TV without a console or purchasing hard copies of the game. For more information on the details of the service itself check here.

The service is priced at $14.95 a month with unspecified price breaks for multi-month purchases. However this price does not include access to the games which can be rented or bought, and average prices for this have yet to be disclosed. However without the purchase or rental of any games, (a sampling of which can be found here) the service includes
"Instant-play free game demos; multiplayer across PC, Mac and TV platforms; massive spectating; viewing of Brag Clips™ video capture and posting; and cloud-saving of games you’ve purchased—pause, and instantly resume from anywhere, even on a different platform.

Also included in the monthly service fee are features you’d expect from standard online games services such as gamer tags, user profiles, friends, chat, but with a twist: everything is live video. You’ll be friending through multiplay, Spectating, Brag Clips, or by flipping through video profiles of friends of friends of friends. OnLive is delivering the first instant video-based social network. It’s really cool."
Check out the full official article and pre-register for a chance to win three months of service free.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Viacom: Never Heard of No Take Backs

After disappointing sales from The Beatles: Rock Band, and from Harmonix products in general, Viacom is filing with the SEC to have some of an "earn-out" bonus paid out to its subsidiary Harmonix at the end of 2008 returned to it. The LA Times Articlegoes into further detail on Viacom's claim. However there are a few quotes that I think are worth highlighting.

"In a research note, media analyst Michael Nathanson of Bernstein Research estimated that the "current trend" of losses for Rock Band has been between $50 million and $100 million per year." - since when does 3 years (since the 2006 release of the original guitar hero) constitute enough data for a trend?


"Activision said it would release just 10 versions of its music games this year, down from 29 in 2009." and "Mike Griffith, head of Activision’s publishing business, summed it up during a conference call with investors by saying, 'In 2010 we’re anticipating further declines in the music genre overall as the casual consumer proves less robust.' "- just 10? What IP do you know that considers 10 releases a year staggering them? Even considering the multiple sub-titles (Guitar Hero/Band Hero/DJ Hero) thats still at least 3 titles in this next year. Maybe its not the casual nature of your consumers that is proving less robust. Maybe its the fact that you're over-saturating the market.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alleged Video Game Pirate Settles with Nintendo for $1.3 Million

According to the Sydney Morning Herald James Burt, 24, of Sinnamon Park in Queensland Austrailia has settled with Nintendo out of court for $1.6 million Australian (1.5 mill settlement and a 100k in legal fees).

This is because he allegedly leaked the new Super Mario brothers for Wii a week before its release in Australia.

Lets all just take a second, read that over a couple of times, and think about how familiar this type of legal action sounds, and how well it worked out for that sector of the entertainment industry.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Drum Triggers Work with Rock Band

The good news: Omega Music Technology has released a set of drum triggers that allow drummers owners to play their own instrument in Rockband and Guitar Hero games. The bad news: you still need to have the games drum set for it to work. The neutral news: If you don't own a drumset, but want a more enhanced playing experience you can by a trigger/pearl drumset bundle.

Is it worth the $250 price tag? You decide.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shinobi Ninja Makes iPhone Game The New Album

Brooklyn Rock/Rap outfit Shinobi Ninja have released their new iPhone App "Shinobi Ninja Attacks". The game itself is a beat 'em up where you play as the band members journeying through Brooklyn to make it to a show. What's unique about the application is the extent to which it integrates the bands material. Shinobi Ninja's music makes the soundtrack to the game, but fans are also awarded videos and more songs for completing parts of the game and a GPS link in allows the band to give extra material to those with the application that attend a concert. As the bands manager and the games co-creator Stephen Sternschein says "Shinobi Ninja Attacks’ replaces the tangible experience people used to have opening a record sleeve or CD jewel case, poring over the liner notes, and looking over the artwork while listening to the music play. It harkens back to recorded music’s glory days, because it helps music fans recover something that was lost with digital music -- the ability to interact physically with the music product itself."

Check out the promo video below and if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch be sure to download the app here

Monday, February 1, 2010

Music Games Need To Refocus

This one comes to us via Prof. Sam's twitter. Its a very well written and concise editorial article regarding what the music game genre should be focusing on as it moves from infancy amid criticism of waning sales. While I highly recommend reading it in its entirety (its a quick read I promise) he brings up three main points. First, backwards compatibility of peripherals needs to be a given. Secondly developers need to restrain their frequency of releases. And finally finding ways to integrate new gameplay features using what hardware players already have.

But again read the whole article. You're already in class not paying attention so what more would it hurt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

History of Video Games in 10 minutes

Here's a little something to help you get over the hump. This video was done by Remix artist Norg, originally premiered at a MAGfest listening party, and the rest speaks for itself.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MTV/Rockband Exec Talks DLC And Audio Bundles

Paul Degooyer, SVP of electronic games and music at MTV, spoke at Midem about his thoughts on the potential of DLC and music bundling. "We would like to see a world where in your premium bundle of the next Muse album you can get the album for your favorite console." While this is similar to what Pearl Jam did earlier in the year, it seems like the call is now to make such a release standard operating procedure.

Although, one could argue that the opposite procedure, purchasing tracks from the Rock Band store and getting a download code for the audio sent to whatever email address is tied to the online account, is a more likely implementable next step.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aaaaaand We're Back!

Now that everyone has worn down their console's disk drive through execessive playing over winter break (or was that just me?), expect regular posts once again.

  • While DJ Hero may have fell short of some of its sales projections, it was still able to garner a rank as the highest grossing new IP for 2009 in the US and Europe in addition to its massive amounts of critical acclaim, and "securing more than 15 Best Music Game Awards in the U.S. alone and was featured in more than two dozen year end "best of" lists including those from Time Magazine, USA and Official Xbox Magazine," according to Activision. Their CEO Bobby Kotick also recently confirmed to Game Informer Magazine that their will be a sequel and that they are going to " stick with it and get it right. But it's going to be less games, better games. That's our strategy."

  • The Ivors a British award for excellence in songwriting and composition will feature a category for game composition for the first time this year. The award ceremony will take place on May 20th 2010. All entries must have at least a third of its composition contributed by a British or Irish composer. Source
  • Fender has recently revealed a set of new products to reach out to the music gaming and overall digital age community. The first is its G-DEC 3 amp priced at $299. The amp comes equipped with its own "backing band", which allows the player to play along with previously recording backing tracks from various styles. It also has an SD slot so that users can play with their own mp3s. They've also launched a new site while its splash page is a bit hokey the site provides free software to allow you to jam with and record sessions with others on the site. The first month is free and then a $10 monthly subscription applies. Finally, fender has partnered with T-Mobile to produce an Eric Clapton version of the Android MyTouch. The shell has a sunburst coloring and the phone includes tracks such as Layla and Wonderful Tonight.
  • If you ever Find yourself in Australia, or more specifically Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, be sure to look out for The Mana Bar come February. The bars owners, a bartender, a video game critic, a sega games developer and a game blogger and will feature a variety of easily accessable and social games (read a lot of wii play). However the bar will also act as a testing ground for game publishers, as the bar will also feature games still in its final stages of development.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building an Interactive Portfolio

As a student at the 127th AES Convention attending the game audio track lectures, I found the best advice was given by Richard Stevens from Leeds Metropolitan University.

"If you don't have some sort of game or interactive project in your portfolio, you're just not trying hard enough."

This makes perfect sense, and I don't see why more people don't do this. It's all fine and dandy to have your Flash mp3 playlist of your demo reel on your site—potential game developers looking for an audio guy want to know if your music and sound design work is any good with a quick listen. But, how do they know you really know how to make this stuff sound good in an interactive setting?