The much hated Guitar Hero 2 song packs are apparently popular. Activision sent out word that downloadable song packs for the game have achieved multi-platinum status with more than 650,000 downloads through Xbox Live Marketplace in less than five months. Each pack contains three individual songs, which when combined top the two million mark, making them some of the most downloaded content on the broadband network.
“Activision was the first third-party publisher to offer downloadable content via Xbox LIVE to consumers and as a result, we have tremendous insight into the types of content that consumers want,” states Dusty Welch, head of publishing, RedOctane. “The Guitar Hero II downloadable video game song packs are some of the most popular content on Xbox LIVE and are quickly becoming a very lucrative revenue stream and powerful promotional vehicle for musicians and record labels today.”
Interestingly, people are actually interested in My Chemical Romance, as the band’s song pack, which included original recordings of “Teenagers”, “Famous Last Words” and “This is How I Disappear,” had achieved over 50,000 downloads within the first week.
I’ll let the press release itself do the talking:
Friday 24th November/… Family and friends of the air guitar yesterday paid their final respects as it was cremated in an East London funeral parlour.
As the funeral party tearfully took their seats, a church organist and choir performed classic rock hymns such as ‘More Than a Feeling’ and ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. The guitar-shaped coffin was lead in by three female gothic pallbearers, and a rock vicar delivered an impassioned tribute to the once-great fictional instrument. Following the service, the air guitar coffin was cremated as a Slash lookalike played an emotional solo.
Mourner Anna Starr, 24, of South London, said: “There was not a dry eye in the house. The moving service really captured the spirit of the air guitar as it played its final note before ascending the ‘Stairway to Heaven’.”
The air guitar died this week as its 21st Century replacement was born: Guitar Hero II® for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, which hits stores today. Rather than pretend playing air guitar riffs using fingers and thin air, Guitar Hero II lets anyone look and feel like a true rock star. The video game uses interactive music technology and the Guitar Hero SG® Controller, modelled after the Gibson® SG guitar, to allow players to thrash along to more than 40 rock classics including ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, ‘Freebird’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’.
Following the service, the funeral party moved to the wake, where the air guitar’s life was celebrated and remembered. Top rock artists White Rose Movement and LunarMile provided the entertainment, as the evening moved from a tearful wake into a raging party. Mourners then cranked up the volume as they rocked out to Guitar Hero II till the wee hours of the morning.
“The air guitar had a good innings,” added, Chris Tufnell, 23, St Albans, “but all things must come to an end. The fact is, there’s really no place for the air guitar any more in this PlayStation generation. Strap on your Guitar Hero SG controller and rock out.”
If that didn’t tickle your funny bone, these pictures from the event will:
Guitar Hero II features quite a few in-game partners, according to an announcement from RedOctane. As players rock out to the game’s 60+ songs playlist, they will be subject to viewing ads for Gibson Guitar, Kramer, Krank, MusicMan Basses, Orange, VHT and the Vans Warped Tour, among others.
“The product placement within Guitar Hero II is designed to add an extra element of realism for gamers,” said Dusty Welch, head of publishing, RedOctane. “Players are deeply immersed into the rock star culture, utilizing the authentic tools of musicians worldwide including an extensive array of amps, strings, pedals, cymbals, music stores and venues.”
In far more exciting news, it has been announced that Dave Navarro from Red Hot Chilli Peppers will be signing Guitar Hero controllers and games at a midnight release event in Los Angeles. Gamers will need to flock the Best Buy at 11301 W. Pico Blvd. from 10.30pm on November 6; the guitarist will be there until 12.30 am on November 7. The event will also be host to Guitar Hero II kiosks set up for people to try out the game “with the help of on-site Best Buy ‘blue shirt’ gaming experts.”
Guitar Hero II will be released on November 7 for PS2. A Xbox 360 version is in development.
From RedOctane comes word that it will be offering a wireless guitar controller for use in Guitar Hero 2 for the PS2. Although a Xbox 360 version of the game has been announced, the press release did not mention the wireless guitar for the console. The device will be released sometime next month for $60; Guitar Hero II is set to ship on November 7.
X06 attendees got the chance to experience an early version of the game for Xbox 360, as well as the X-Plorer controller (pictured). Besides enhanced graphics, Guitar Hero II on the next-gen console will feature micro-transactions, letting users buy and download songs via Xbox Live Marketplace.
No release date was disclosed for the title, though the PS2 version hits stores November 7.
Headbangers in Europe will now be able to bang their heads nearer with their North American brethren thanks to Red Octane and Activision who announced that Guitar Hero II will be available in the region this November, shortly after its American release.
Guitar Hero II will be available as a hardware bundle complete with a replica Gibson SG controller or as a standalone disc for owners of the original. The final tracklist for the title is yet to be announced, but RedOctane promises a heady mix of classic and contemporary rock, as well as a couple of surprises.
Thanks to a press event held down under, IGN has learned of three new tracks which will make their way to Guitar Hero II. The newly-announced tracks are covers of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart”, “Madhouse” by Anthrax, and Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil”.
Videos of the three songs in action are available on IGN, so give them a whirl if you’re interested.
Guitar Hero II will be rocking Kentia Hall this year! RedOctane has announced that E3 attendees will get the opportunity to play demos of the upcoming game, as well as enjoy live performances by bands featured in the original Guitar Hero. There will also be special guest appearances by female guitarist Judita Wignall from the band Halo Friendlies, the inspiration behind the character Judy Nails.
Below is the complete schedule:
WEDNESDAY, May 10th at 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.:
Hard-rock band Drist starring Marcus Henderson will rock the crowd and perform hits from their newly launched album “Orchids and Ammunition!” Marcus is an original guitar hero who recorded multiple guitar tracks for the Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II soundtracks.
THURSDAY, May 11th at 10 a.m. & 3 p.m.:
Graveyard BBQ, winners of the first “Be a Guitar Hero” competition, will perform their winning song “Cheat on the Church” along with many others from their debut album “Graveyard BBQ Greatest Hits Volume 1.”
FRIDAY, May 12th at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.:
Los Angeles-based rock sensation Shaimus will woo the crowd with the smooth stylings from their recently released album “Paper Sun,” including their first hit single “All of This” from Guitar Hero.
The game will be out this November for the PS2.
Get your inner rock star active! RedOctane has announced Guitar Hero II for release this Fall. The sequel will feature a new track list, new venues and additional play modes, including the ability to transform the original Guitar Hero controller into a rhythm, lead or bass guitar.
No details on the track list are available, but it was let out that the list will feature a mix of classic rock, ‘hair’ metal, heavy metal, modern rock and alternative songs. More than 55 songs will be featured in the title.
An early glimpse of the game will be shown at E3 in a couple of weeks. Guitar Hero II is scheduled for release this November.