XBLM Update 4/11: Fireworks rock… and GHII DLC pricing structure sucks

Bizarre Creations returns to XBLA this week — courtesy of EA — with its second download-only game Boom Boom Rocket. This fireworks display/rhythm-action game costs $10 (800 Microsoft Points) and features several modes of play, including: two single player modes (Normal and Speed), two competitive local multiplayer modes (Battle and Endurance), Practice, and Freestyle (which allows you to just have fun with the fireworks). While the game doesn’t seem like it’ll become the classic that its predecessor Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is, it does seem like a worthwhile diversion.

Unfortunately, it’s not all roses and wine this week. Guitar Hero II, which saw release on 360 last week, got its first download packs today. It’s undoubtedly cool that Activision is starting to incrementally give us the first games playlist, but it’s not so hot that your wallet will be absolutely gorged if you want the whole thing.

Coming in at $6.25 a piece (500 Microsoft Points), the songs are collected into three "track packs," comprised of the following:

  • Bark at the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne), Hey You (The Exies), and Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
  • Killer Queen (Queen), Take it Off (The Donnas), and Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group)
  • Higher Ground (Red Hot Chili Peppers) Infected (Bad Religon), and Stellar (Incubus)

Assuming Activision plans to release the entire back catalog — and really, why wouldn’t they? — consumers would be gouged out of $62.48. To put it in perspective, you can walk into any electronics store and secure the first game on PS2 by spending no more than forty bones.

Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox Live, defended the price points on his blog by stating, "Remember, these song packs contain *licensed* songs. Licensing songs gets pretty expensive, and complicated when you involve other countries. Anyone who knows a little bit about the music industry and publishing can tell you that it’s not a walk in the park to secure content and the proper distribution licenses for songs. I’ll pass along the comments.

"Just because songs are covers (original versions redone by other musicians) does not really matter. The song publishing is what can *really* be tricky in terms of licensing. Again, as you guys know I will share the feedback with everyone here, so thanks for understanding and thinking about the legalities of it all."

You’d think after the Lumines debacle that publishers would learn to be less greedy; that they’d have figured out that consumers are on to these shameless, incremental nickel-and-diming tactics. Nope. The debacle continues.

The time has come — yet again — to vote with your wallet, folks.

With additional reporting by Frank Ling.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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