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Videogame sales are rapidly becoming a cut throat business, due to gamers pumping more and more cash into that particular area of the market.  Well, things just got a little cut throatier this week, with Activision unveiling it’s plans for the last two Guitar Hero releases of the year*.  With a pair of carefully positioned marketing maneuvers, gamer opinions may swing back towards the mega publisher.

Activision
Cunning adversaries indeed…

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll recall I placed a personal boycott on Activision’s Guitar Hero series until several problems were rectified**.  Whether all of these will be fixed or not remains to be seen, but at least one big one is on the path to the light side of the Force: Library consolidation.

Owners of Guitar Hero: World Tour and Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*** will be able to import the majority of those game’s soundtracks to your hard drive for use in Guitar Hero 5. Well done Neversoft.  You noticed the hard drives we have on our consoles. It only took you 3 numbered iterations and who knows how many in between titles to figure it out!

Who want’s a cookie, who want’s one?  Good boy.

Joking aside (for this paragraph), this is a step in the right direction for the game series that taught us to love plastic instruments.  Plus, thanks to it’s massive install base, it’s a move that will garner a lot of positive feeling towards Guitar Hero once again, adding value to a game that people already buy by the millions.

And, speaking of value, Activision’s second announcement is certainly chock full of that.  Any copy of Guitar Hero 5 purchased in the month of September will render the purchaser  eligable for a free advance copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen.

That’s right.  FREE ADVANCE COPY. Two $60 retail games for the price of one.  This announcement put me through the five stages of greif when I first heard it.

Denial:  No way.  No effing way that Activision would do something so… charitable.  Has to be a joke cooked up by someone, right…? Right?
Anger:  It’s real?  AUGHHH!!!  Those evil geniuses!  How can I afford to NOT get it now?!  I’d be passing up a whole ‘nother free game!  Son of a….
Bargaining:  Ok, maybe if I can sell off my free copy… no, I’d still be giving Activision money.  There must be a loophole somewhere, think.
Depression:  I don’t want to… *sobs* I don’t want to get it… but I can’t see another way out… *wails uncontrollably*  I’m sorry, past version of me!  Me, who had will power to say “No more Guitar Hero!”  I’m so sorry…
Acceptance:  All right.  Well played Activision.  Well played.  I’m now actively considering getting Guitar Hero 5.  You’re evil.

So I hope I don’t succumb… but I’m afraid I might.  We shall see… we shall see…

*As long as you aren’t counting Band Hero or DJ Hero, but at this point, who CAN count them all???

**For full details, read this:

***Or at least, owners of the MANUALS for said games, as it seems the disc is completely unecessary.  You’ll just need the code from the back of the manuals to do the importing, along with a small relicensing fee.

My only hope is that they make said libaries available for download for a price eventually, rather than forcing people to track down new copies of a game disc that will cease to be useful as soon as they put in the code.  Probably won’t happen, but I can dream.

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