|The Ninth Annual Interactive
PROJECT BAR-B-Q 2004
Rogue Group Report: PRAGMA (Pet Rocks and Game Music Alliance)
|Participants: A.K.A. "PRAGMA"||Pete Clare; Sensaura/Creative|
|Chris Grigg; Beatnik
||Martin Puryear; Microsoft|
|Rob Rampley; Line 6||Jim Reekes; independent|
|Jim Rippie; independent||Tom White; MMA|
|Guy Whitmore; Microsoft|
That half hour session was in fact preceded by another half hour session where we tried to figure out How in the Name of Great God Almighty some guy thought up the pet rock and retired early off that. We also tried to figure out what kind of experience s/he would have had writing up a "marketing requirements document" for the pet rock and defending that to management.
Clearly, some hugely winning ideas have no precedent, cannot be predicted, and will never be approved by the cowardly and risk averse. Still, we continued…
Our mission in life
One approach to this glorious mission, to be somewhat more specific, is to consider the game console as a potential music making device. We wondered, discussed, prophesied, and pontificated the reasons why this hasn’t been a seriously considered platform for musical applications. There seem to be a whole lot of game consoles out there with a whole lot of computing power inside them just waiting for us to make music with them. We must have missed something, because if this were really a good idea, someone would have done it already, right? Well, if it’s such a damn good idea, why isn’t anyone doing it?
The Supporting Truths
There may be a few problems in carving out an entirely new market segment in home entertainment, but a lack of people with compatible equipment is not one of them. We already sell products to musicians with dedicated studios and computers, here we have a complementary market opportunity with different applications and marketing requirements.
There are a few "game" titles that depend heavily on music, notably Harmonix's "Frequency" and CodeMaster's " MTV Music Generator 3" but these are lonely exceptions, and not tremendously successful in either financial or technical terms.
We concede that this is not a new idea, (refer to the Compellorheads report from BBQ 2001), what we wish to point out that building a music making device with a game console as not.
Game consoles install bases
(disclaimer: these are rough estimates for worldwide unit sales)
15 million Xbox
Nice, big, sweet target market
50%+ of households report they have at least one musician (source: Gallup)
(the following are very rough worldwide guesses generated by the super duper group brain algorithm, thus this information still needs to be backed up with real market data.)
Required Platforms and Peripherals are Colocated
Consoles: not just
for breakfast anymore
Especially if developers sensibly bound the feature, authoring and music making apps can run well (and stably) on two major consoles with key host and co-processors for running input, user interface and audio processing tasks.
Sony PlayStation 2
Why aren't consoles used to make music?
Closed systems discourage innovation, and make it difficult to create viral, runaway hits.
Moral of the Story:
Have courage. Go make something. Don't give up.
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