Guitar Hero y Rock Band fueron en su momento dos videojuegos que cambiaron la industria del entretenimiento. Trajeron consigo una nueva forma de interactuar con las consolas a través de la música y los instrumentos virtuales y toda la innovación que esto supuso, los colocó rápidamente en la cima de las plataformas más vendidas.
Todos hemos soñado alguna vez con formar parte de una banda de rock exitosa o con ser estrellas de ese mundo. Guitar Hero y Rock Band eran el complemento perfecto para aquellos soñadores con habilidades innatas para escudriñar la complejidad de estos juegos.
Pero después de unos años en la cresta de la ola, ambas plataformas claudicaron hasta quedar casi en un tercer plano de la industria. Y aunque en 2015 intentaron volver a darse impulso, no lo consiguieron.
¿La causa de la decadencia? Bueno, después de haber leído algunos titulares, personalmente creo que hay 2 causas fundamentales.
La primera de ellas, una saturación excesiva del producto. Hace algunos años ambas marcas inundaron el mercado con olas consecutivas de nuevos lanzamientos, orillándolos a convertirse en una moda pasajera o una mera tendencia.
El segundo problema es que hubo una gran falta de enfoque en el producto principal, la música. Si las consolas de juegos son tan buenas como los juegos hechos para ellas, un juego de música debe ser tan bueno como la música que lo compone.
La saturación del mercado
Las dos plataformas salieron al mercado presentando un nuevo lanzamiento anualmente. No solo eso, sino que cada uno de estos lanzamiento traía consigo algunas variaciones y nuevas entregas, como Rock Band Beatles, Guitar Hero Van Halen, Rock Band Aerosmith, etc. Esto llegó a un punto en el que salían casi tres juegos al año, un nivel de saturación total y absoluto sobre todo tratándose de un juego tan específico.
Con el tiempo, la gente terminó hartándose y es normal. ¿Por qué seguir comprando lo mismo una y otra vez solo con ligeras variaciones?
La generación de expectativa en este tipo de negocios es generalmente lo que impulsa la industria. Lo que podría haber funcionado para ambos negocios era crear menos versiones de juegos y concentrase en ofrecer paquetes de canciones para usar en cada uno de ellos. Entiendo que estos eran los días en que el contenido descargable no era tan popular, pero tenían un público cautivo con los equipos en casa que probablemente estaría dispuesto a comprar una suscripción anual.
Si bien los desarrolladores podrían haber pensado de manera más proactiva, decidieron cobrar la máxima cantidad en el menor tiempo posible, siempre pensando que algún día todo se iba a terminar. Y es justo esa mentalidad del miedo a la muerte de un género lo que los llevo al declive.
A toro pasado es muy fácil hacer análisis, pero conociendo el mercado, lo que debieron hacer es estudiar cómo mejorar y planificar la vida natural del producto, siendo más gratificante a medida que pasan los años.
Si el planteamiento es lanzar una plataforma al mercado como si fuera a morir, morirá. Y eso no quiere decir que los juegos de Guitar Hero o Rock Band fueran malos. En su momento funcionaron muy bien y tenían un buen catálogo de canciones. Sin embargo, la percepción del público era que le estaban vendiendo lo mismo con una capa de pintura diferente. Bastante similar a cómo los gamers de hoy en día ven otros juegos como Call of Duty o FIFA.
El problema de la música en Guitar Hero y Rockband
Guitar Hero y Rock Band aparecieron en la industria en 2005. La música que integraron, así como la jugabilidad, llegaron a romper con cualquier expectativa del momento. Tengo que admitir que era bastante emocionante escuchar mis canciones favoritas mientras trataba de seguir la secuencia de botones de colores en una guitarra de juguete. Este combo de instrumento, musica y habilidad se convirtió en una adicción inmediata.
Como jugador frecuente no buscaba innovación, simplemente esperaba que incluyeran buenas melodías. No recurría a estos juegos porque pudieran enseñarme a tocar una guitarra real, los jugaba porque amo la música y me encanta divertirme con ella. No importa si Ozzy Osbourne, o Green Day, o Aerosmith o cualquier otro estaban animados en el juego, no tenía que haber una historia o algún otro intento de enganchar a los jugadores. La música era el gancho, pero hay que mantener el anzuelo.
Con el paso del tiempo dejaron de poner canciones populares. La música empezó a perder calidad y, a medida que sacaban nuevos títulos, el interés salía por la ventana. Llegó un punto crítico en el que los jugadores habituales colgaron las guitarras, guardaron los juegos y pasaron a otra cosa. Lo más difícil en esta industria de videojuegos es que un producto efímero o una moda pasajera se olvidan de inmediato, porque cada día salen nuevos conceptos y nueva tecnología que deja lo más reciente al borde de la obsolescencia.
Esperemos que con el tiempo estos juegos puedan recuperar su lugar como los gigantes que fueron algún día. Pero por ahora solo nos queda jugar desde la nostalgia esperando a que eso suceda.
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