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Rhythm game or rhythm action is a genre of music-themed action video game that challenges a player's sense of rhythm. Games in the genre typically focus on dance or the simulated performance of musical instruments, and require players to press buttons in a sequence dictated on the screen. Doing so causes the game's protagonist or avatar to dance or to play their instrument correctly, which increases the player's score. Many rhythm games include multiplayer modes in which players compete for the highest score or cooperate as a simulated musical ensemble. While conventional control pads may be used as input devices, rhythm games often feature novel game controllers that emulate musical instruments. Certain dance-based games require the player to physically dance on a mat, with pressure-sensitive pads acting as the input device.
A music video game, also commonly known as a music game, is a video game where the gameplay is meaningfully and often almost entirely oriented around the player's interactions with a musical score or individual songs. Music video games may take a variety of forms and are often grouped with puzzle games due to their common use of "rhythmically generated puzzles".
An action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games and platform games. Some multiplayer online battle arena and real-time strategy games are also considered action games.
Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.
The 1996 title PaRappa the Rapper has been deemed the first influential rhythm game, whose basic template formed the core of subsequent games in the genre. In 1997, Konami's Beatmania sparked an emergent market for rhythm games in Japan. The company's music division, Bemani, released a series of music-based games over the next several years. The most successful of these was the 1998 dance mat game Dance Dance Revolution , which was the only Bemani title to achieve large-scale success outside Japan, and would see numerous imitations of the game from other publishers.
PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm game developed by NanaOn-Sha. It was published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation in 1996 in Japan and other countries in 1997. Created by music producer Masaya Matsuura in collaboration with artist Rodney Greenblat, the game features unique visual design and rap-based gameplay and is considered the first true rhythm game. It was ported to the PlayStation Portable in 2006. A remastered version of the original PlayStation game was released for PlayStation 4 in 2017 for the game's twentieth anniversary.
Konami Holdings Corporation, commonly referred to as Konami, is a Japanese entertainment and gaming conglomerate. It operates as a product distributor, video game developer and publisher company. Besides those, it has casinos around the world and also operates health and physical fitness clubs across Japan.
Beatmania (ビートマニア) is a rhythm video game developed and distributed by Japanese game developer Konami and first released in December 1997. It contributed largely to the boom of music games in 1998, and the series expanded not only with arcade sequels, but also moved to home consoles and other portable devices, achieving a million unit sales. The Bemani line of music games from Konami is named after the series, and was first adopted in the arcade release of Beatmania 3rdMix and kept ever since. The series came to an end with the last game being Beatmania The Final, released in 2002.
Other Japanese games, particularly Guitar Freaks , led to development of Guitar Hero and Rock Band series that used instrument-shaped controllers to mimic the playing of actual instruments. Spurred by the inclusion of popular rock music, the two series revitalized the rhythm genre in the Western Market, significantly expanded the console video game market and its demographics. The games provided a new source of revenue for the artists whose music appeared on the soundtracks. The later release of Rock Band 3 as well as the even later Rocksmith would allow players to play the songs using a real electric guitar. By 2008, rhythm games were considered to be one of the most popular video game genres, behind other action games. However, by 2009, the market was saturated by spin-offs from the core titles, which led to a nearly 50% drop in revenue for music game publishers; within a few years, both series announced they would be taking a hiatus from future titles.
The Guitar Hero series is a series of music rhythm games first published in 2005 by RedOctane and Harmonix, and distributed by Activision, in which players use a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing lead, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar across numerous rock music songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover versions of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.
Rock Band is a series of music video games developed by Harmonix and MTV Games, and distributed by Electronic Arts for the Nintendo DS, iOS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSP, Wii, Xbox One and Xbox 360 game systems. The series, inspired by Harmonix's previous efforts on the Guitar Hero series, allows up to four players to simulate the performance of popular rock music songs by playing with controllers modeled after musical instruments. Players can play the lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and drums parts to songs, as well as sing into a USB microphone. Players are scored on their ability to match scrolling musical notes while playing instruments, and by their ability to match the singer's pitch on vocals.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Despite these setbacks, the rhythm game market continues to expand, introducing a number of dance-based games like Ubisoft's Just Dance and Harmonix's Dance Central that incorporate the use of motion controllers and camera-based controls like the Kinect. Existing games also continue to thrive on new business models, such as the reliance on downloadable content to provide songs to players. The introduction of the new generation of console hardware has also spurred return of Activision's Guitar Hero and Harmonix's Rock Band titles in late 2015.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA is a French video game company headquartered in Montreuil with several development studios across the world. It is known for publishing games for several acclaimed video game franchises, including Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Just Dance, Prince of Persia, Rayman, Raving Rabbids, and Tom Clancy's. As of March 2018, Ubisoft is the fourth largest publicly traded game company in the Americas and Europe after Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive in terms of revenue and market capitalisation.
Just Dance is a rhythm game developed by Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Paris and published by Ubisoft. The game was released exclusively for Wii on 17 November 2009 in North America, 26 November 2009 in Australia, and 27 November 2009 in Europe.
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., doing business as Harmonix, is an American video game development company based in Boston, Massachusetts, best known for its music video games.
Rhythm game, or rhythm action,is a subgenre of action game that challenges a player's sense of rhythm. The genre includes dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution and music-based games such as Donkey Konga and Guitar Hero . Games in the genre challenge the player to press buttons at precise times: the screen shows which button the player is required to press, and the game awards points both for accuracy and for synchronization with the beat. The genre also includes games that measure rhythm and pitch, in order to test a player's singing ability, and games that challenge the player to control their volume by measuring how hard they press each button. While songs can be sight read, players usually practice to master more difficult songs and settings. Certain rhythm games offer a challenge similar to that of Simon says, in that the player must watch, remember, and repeat complex sequences of button-presses. Rhythm-action can take a minigame format with some games blending rhythm with other genres or entirely comprising minigame collections.
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), also known as Dancing Stage in earlier games in Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Oceania, and also some other games in Japan, is a music video game series produced by Konami. Introduced in Japan in 1998 as part of the Bemani series, and released in North America and Europe in 1999, Dance Dance Revolution is the pioneering series of the rhythm and dance genre in video games. Players stand on a "dance platform" or stage and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues. Players are judged by how well they time their dance to the patterns presented to them and are allowed to choose more music to play to if they receive a passing score.
Donkey Konga is a GameCube rhythm video game starring the ape Donkey Kong, developed by Namco and published by Nintendo. Instead of the standard GameCube controllers, the game is intended to be played with a special controller called the DK Bongos that resemble two small bongo drums.
A minigame is a short video game often contained within another video game, and sometimes in application software or on a display of any form of hardware. A minigame contains different gameplay elements than the main game, may be optional, and is often smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involve merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity. Some minigames can also be bonus stages or secret levels.
In some rhythm games, the screen displays an avatar who performs in reaction to the player's controller inputs.However, these graphical responses are usually in the background, and the avatar is more important to spectators than it is to the player. In single-player modes, the player's avatar competes against a computer-controlled opponent, while multiplayer modes allow two player-controlled avatars to compete head-to-head. The popularity of rhythm games has created a market for speciality input devices. These include controllers that emulate musical instruments, such as guitars, drums, or maracas. A dance mat, for use in dancing games, requires the player to step on pressure-sensitive pads. However, most rhythm games also support more conventional input devices, such as control pads.
A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or over the internet. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance; players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games.
In the early 1970s, Kasco (Kansei Seiki Seisakusho) created a rhythm-based electro-mechanical arcade game, designed by Kenzou Furukawa and produced by Kenji Nagata. According to Nagata, it was Furukawa's "idea for a game where you’d lift girls skirts in time to some rhythm", inspired by the 1969 Japanese Oh! Mouretsu commercials. The arcade game was released in Japan.Another early rhythm-based electronic game was the handheld game Simon , created in 1978 by Ralph Baer (who created the Magnavox Odyssey) and Howard Morrison. The game used the "call and response" mechanic, in which players take turns repeating increasingly complicated sequences of button presses.
Human Entertainment's Dance Aerobics was an early rhythm-based video game released in 1987, and allows players to create music by stepping on Nintendo's Power Pad peripheral for the NES video game console. The 1996 title PaRappa the Rapper has been credited as the first true rhythm game,and as one of the first music-based games in general. It requires players to press buttons in the order that they appear on the screen, a basic mechanic that formed the core of future rhythm games. The success of PaRappa the Rapper sparked the popularity of the music game genre. In 1997, Konami released the DJ-themed rhythm game Beatmania in Japanese arcades. Its arcade cabinet features buttons similar to those of a musical keyboard, and a rubber pad that emulates a vinyl record. Beatmania was a surprise hit, inspiring Konami's Games and Music Division to change its name to Bemani in honor of the game, and to begin experimenting with other rhythm game concepts. Its successes include GuitarFreaks , which features a guitar-shaped controller, and 1998's Pop'n Music , a game similar to Beatmania in which multiple colorful buttons must be pressed. While the GuitarFreaks franchise continues to receive new arcade releases in Japan, it was never strongly marketed outside of the country. This allowed Red Octane and Harmonix to capitalize on the formula in 2005 with the Western-targeted Guitar Hero . In general, few Japanese arcade rhythm games were exported abroad because of the cost of producing the peripherals and the resulting increases in retail prices. The 1999 Bemani title DrumMania featured a drum kit controller, and could be linked with GuitarFreaks for simulated jam sessions. Similarly, this concept was later appropriated by Harmonix for their game Rock Band .
Dance Dance Revolution , released in 1998, is a rhythm game in which players dance on pressure-sensitive pads in an order dictated by on-screen instructions.The game was highly successful both in and outside Japan, unlike games such as GuitarFreaks, DrumMania and Beatmania, though the latter had some success in Europe. Released the same year, Enix's Bust a Groove features a similar focus on dancing but employs a more conventional input method. The game contains competitive one-on-one battles, and grants the player more freedom than typical rhythm games.
NanaOn-Sha, the creators of PaRappa the Rapper, released Vib-Ribbon in 1999. It eschews instrument-shaped controllers; instead, players maneuver the protagonist through an obstacle course by pressing buttons at correct times. The game's levels are generated by the background music, which players may change by inserting audio CDs. While it was praised for its unique style and artistry, Vib-Ribbon's simple vector graphics proved difficult to market, and the game was never released in North America. Sega's Samba de Amigo , released in arcades in 1999 and on the Dreamcast in 2000, features maraca-shaped, motion sensitive controllers. The game allows for two-player gameplay, provides a spectacle for onlookers and allows players to socialise while gaming. In 2000, Taiko no Tatsujin combined traditional Japanese drums with contemporary pop music, and became highly successful in Japanese arcades. The game was later released on consoles in the West as Taiko Drum Master , and the franchise continues to receive new installments in Japan. Gitaroo Man featured a guitar-playing protagonist four years before the release of Guitar Hero, though the game employed a conventional rather than guitar-shaped controller. Gitaroo Man's creator, Keiichi Yano, later created Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan , a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS that utilizes the handheld's touchscreen features. It became a highly demanded import title, which led to the release of an altered version of the game in the West— Elite Beat Agents —and a sequel in Japan.
Harmonix was formed in 1995 from a computer music group at MIT. Beginning in 1998, the company developed music games inspired by PaRappa the Rapper.In 2001, the company released Frequency , which puts the player in control of multiple instrument tracks. Ryan Davis of GameSpot wrote that the game provides a greater sense of creative freedom than earlier rhythm titles. Frequency was critically acclaimed; however, marketing was made difficult by the game's abstract style, which removed the player's ability to perform for onlookers. In 2003, Harmonix followed up Frequency with the similar Amplitude . The company later released a more socially driven, karaoke-themed music game in Karaoke Revolution (2003). Donkey Konga , a GameCube title developed by Namco and released in 2003, achieved widespread success by leveraging Nintendo's Donkey Kong brand.
In 2005, Harmonix and the small publisher RedOctane released Guitar Hero, a game inspired by Bemani's GuitarFreaks. However, instead of the Japanese pop that comprises the earlier title's soundtrack, Guitar Hero features Western rock music. The game reinvigorated the rhythm genre, which had stagnated because of a flood of Dance Dance Revolution sequels and imitations.Guitar Hero spawned several sequels, and the franchise overall earned more than $1 billion, with the third installment ranking as the best selling game in North America in 2007. Harmonix followed Guitar Hero with the Rock Band franchise, which also earned over $1 billion. Rock Band titles support multiple instrument controllers and cooperative multiplayer, allowing players to play as a full band. The Guitar Hero franchise followed suit with the band-oriented, Neversoft-developed Guitar Hero World Tour . Guitar Hero installments based on specific bands, such as Metallica and Aerosmith, were also published. Additional songs for Guitar Hero and Rock Band were made available for purchase via the Internet, which generated further revenue. Artists whose work is featured in the games receive royalties, and the increased publicity in turn generates further sales of their music. The success of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises widened the console video game market and its demographics, and the popularity of the genre drove increased sales of consoles. In 2008, it was reported that music games had become the second most popular video game genre (behind action) in the United States, with 53% of players being female. At its height in 2008, music games represented about 18% of the video game market.
Video game industry analysts considered 2009 to be a critical year for rhythm games, and they believed that it would allow them to gauge the future success of the genre.Both the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises were expanded, and they received entries for handheld gaming devices and mobile phones. Specialized titles that targeted specific genres and demographics, such as Band Hero for pop music and Lego Rock Band for younger players, were released. Sales of music games were down in the first half of the year. This decline was attributed to fewer purchases of instrument controllers; it was assumed that players had already bought such controllers and were reusing them. While analysts had expected that United States sales of Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band would be high—close to or exceeding one million units each in the first month of their release —sales only reached roughly half of those projections. The failure to meet sales projections was partly attributed to the impact of the late-2000s recession on the video game industry; Harmonix's CEO Alex Rigopolis considered that at the time, both Guitar Hero and Rock Band were the most expensive video games on the market. Analysts also considered it to be a sign of market saturation. Further contributing to the decline was genre stagnation; the franchises retained the same basic gameplay over several iterations, giving consumers less incentive to buy additional titles. Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos felt that the aggressive competition between the Rock Band and Guitar Hero brands on the belief that the market could only support one franchise also contributed to the decline of these games. As a result, analysts lowered their expectations for future music games; for example, projections of first quarter U.S. sales of DJ Hero , a Guitar Hero "spin-off", were reduced from 1.6 million units to only 600,000. Sales of rhythm games, which totalled $1.47 billion in 2008, reached only $700 million in 2009. Analysts predicted that the market would settle at the same "healthy" $500–600 million level of the Call of Duty series. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter concluded that the saturation of the rhythm game market accounted for one-third of the industry's 12% sales decline in 2009.
The fallout of the weakening rhythm game market affected game developers, publishers and distributors. Companies in the latter two categories believed that most consumers would own at least one set of instrument controllers by 2010, which would increase the importance of software and downloadable content sales. million following the success of Rock Band in 2007, began seeking a "substantial" refund on that investment after weak sales in 2009. Viacom also sought to negotiate new deals with music publishers to reduce the costs of the Rock Band series' licensed music. Ultimately, the company began to seek a buyer for Harmonix during the third quarter of 2010.Activision scaled back its 2010 Guitar Hero release schedule to just two games, reducing the number of SKUs from 25 in 2009 to 10 in 2010. The company closed several in-house developers, including RedOctane, Neversoft's Guitar Hero division, and Underground Development. Viacom, which had paid Harmonix $150
In 2010, rhythm game developers included new features in their products. For example, Rock Band 3 and Power Gig: Rise of the SixString support guitar controllers with strings, and both contain modes that teach players accurate fingering. million units in its first week in 2008. Through October 2010, music games achieved net sales of around $200 million, one-fifth of the genre's revenue during the same period in 2008. Analysts believed that the market likely would not break $400 million in revenue by the end of the year. End year sales were less than $300 million.Despite this new content, sales of music games faltered in 2010. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and DJ Hero 2 sold only 86,000 and 59,000 copies, respectively, in North America during their first week on the market. This was in sharp contrast to Guitar Hero III, which had sold nearly 1.4
By the end of 2010, the rhythm market was considered "well past its prime", and developers shifted their focus to downloadable content and potential integration with motion control systems.In late 2010, Viacom sold Harmonix to an investment-backed group and allowed it to continue developing Rock Band and Dance Central. Citing the downturn in rhythm games, Activision shuttered their Guitar Hero division in February 2011. Analysts suggested that the market for peripheral-based rhythm games may remain stagnant for three to five years, after which sales could resurge because of digital distribution models or the release of new video game consoles. However, by 2013, the era of peripheral-based music games was considered at an end, as Harmonix announced that it would cease regular updates of Rock Band downloadable content on April 2, 2013 as the company shifts to newer games.
In Japanese amusement arcade, arcade-based collectible card games became popular. In 2004, Sega released Oshare Majo: Love and Berry which was a fashion coordinate game with collectible card game and rhythm game elements.The Oshare Majo was a big hit in Japan and then other game companies also entered in this game genre.
Those games have only aimed at young girls, however some of those games also hit at some adults which are often mentioned as "Ōkina otomodachi" (lit. Big Friends).In 2016, as for PriPara, Tomy mentioned that "When all users [of the game] are counted as its main target of from 6 to 9 years old [Japanese] girls, we succeed to expand the market scale as many as every one of the main target." in its financial results.
In Japan, Virtual idolssuch as The Idolmaster and Vocaloids became popular in the Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video sharing service and then many virtual-idol-featured rhythm games were released. The early examples are The Idolmaster Live For You! (2008, BNEI) and Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA (2009-, Sega) but there were only aimed to Japanese market.
In January 2012, Taiwanese video game maker, Rayark Gamesreleased Cytus, a SF-themed rhythm game, for smartphones. Cytus was a big hit in Asia, including Japan and due to this, smartphone-based rhythm games became popular in Japan. In spring 2012, Sega released Miku Flick, a spin-off game from "Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA" series, for smartphone not only in Japanese market but also in world market. In April 2013, BNEI released the iOS port of The Idolmaster Shiny Festa for world market. The iOS port became the first English support game in The Idolmaster series. In the same month, Bushiroad released Love Live! School Idol Festival for smartphones in Japanese market and then in 2014, they released the international version of the game for world market.
Smartphone-based idol-featured rhythm games become more and more popular in Japan. The new games have been released every year: Show by Rock!! (2013-), Tokyo 7th Sisters(2014-), Idorhythm (2014-2015), Idol Chronicle (2014-2016), AKB48 Group Official Music Game (2014-2018), Hello Pro: Tap Live (2014-), The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage (2015-), Girl Friend Note (2015-), IDOLiSH7 (2015-), I-Chu (2015-), Yumeiro Cast (2015-), School Star Dream! (2015-2016), AiPara! IDOL PARADISE (2015-2015), Syachihokōru (2015-), Pretty Rhythm Shake (2015-), VENUS PROJECT: DREAM BEAT (2015-2016), Aikatsu! Photo on Stage!! (2016-), 8 beat Story (2016-), Idol Connect (2016), Drefes! (2016-), Boy Friend Beta : Kirameki Note (2016-), Band Yarouze! (2016-), Idol Incidents (2016-2017), Pop in Q: Dance for Quintet! (2017-2018), BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! (2017-), Tsukino Paradise (2017-), Idol Rhythm Party (2017-), The Idolmaster Million Live! Theater Days (2017-), B-PROJECT: Muteki*Dangerous (2017-), Doru-on (2017-), Re:Stage!: Prism Step (2017-), Uta Macross: Smartphone De Culture (2017-), King of Prism: Prism Rush! Live (2017-), Uta no Prince-sama: Shining Live (2017), The Idolmaster SideM : LIVE ON ST@GE! (2017-), Schoolgirl Strikers: Twinkle Melodies (2017-), Legenne: be a star (2017-), Nogizaka46: Rhythm Festival (2017-), New Prince of Tennis: RisingBeat (2017-), and Tokimeki Idol (2018-).
With the introduction of motion controllers for the Xbox 360 (Kinect) and the PlayStation 3 (PlayStation Move) in 2010 and 2011, some analysts stated that the rhythm market would resurge thanks to dance- and band-based games that use platform-agnostic controllers.Dance games such as Just Dance , Dance Central and Michael Jackson: The Game were based on the new motion sensing technology. Industry pundits believe that, because sales of peripheral-based music games are lagging and the popularity of pop music is surging, dance-based games will continue to thrive. Dance games such as Ubisoft's Just Dance and Harmonix's Dance Central boosted the rhythm genre's late-2010 sales; the latter was the top-selling game for the Kinect in North America in November 2010. Both games helped the genre increase its sales by 38% over November 2009, according to NPD. Harmonix is expected to post more than $100 million in profit for 2011 buoyed by sales of Dance Central and downloadable content for the game, according to Bloomberg. Just Dance overcame a poor critical reception to topple Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's best-seller status, while Just Dance 2 (2010) became the best selling non-Nintendo game for the Wii. The Just Dance series competed with top action franchises for sales. Tap Tap Revenge , the first installment of the iPhone rhythm series Tap Tap , was the platform's most downloaded game in 2008. The Tap Tap franchise ultimately generated 15 million downloads and received a Guinness World Record as the "most popular iPhone game series".
Over the course of 2014, the phenomenon of indie games produced several variations of the genre.The game Jungle Rumble uses a mechanic where players drum on a touch screen to control the game. Different rhythms correspond with different verbs to control entities in an RTS like environment. The game Crypt of the NecroDancer uses a mechanic where the player controls the main character in sync with the soundtrack's beat.
Harmonix returned to its core rhythm games in 2014. In 2014, it successfully funded a Kickstarter to produce a remake of the PS2 title, Amplitude for the PlayStation 3 and 4, with release expected in 2015. Further, in March 2015, the company announced Rock Band 4 to be released later in the same year, with plans to keep the game as a platform with continued free and paid updates and downloadable content, while refocusing on the core social and music enjoyment of the game. Activision also announced Guitar Hero Live , slated for late 2015, which rebuilds the game from the ground up, keeping the core mechanics but using a 3-button with dual position controller, and using recorded footage of a rock concert taken from the lead guitarist's perspective to increase immersion. Guitar rhythm game industry is going for the VR market with games like Rocksmith and Rock Band VR .
2016 saw the release of Thumper , a self-styled "rhythm violence" game combining rhythm mechanics with an abstract horror theme and an original industrial soundtrack. Unusually, Thumper features a player character encountering notes as physical obstacles, rather than having notes simply scroll offscreen. Also in 2016, Konami returned to the western arcade market with Dance Dance Revolution A after a successful location test. Additionally, Konami's new dancing based rhythm game, Dance Rush Stardom, was also released to the western market in 2018.
In 2018, Beat Saber , a virtual reality rhythm game with sword slashing mechanics, became the top selling and highest rated virtual reality game on the Steam market at the time of its release.
Rhythm games have been used for health purposes. For example, research has found that dancing games dramatically increase energy expenditure over that of traditional video games, and that they burn more calories than walking on a treadmill. Scientists have further suggested that, due to the large amount of time children spend playing video games and watching television, games that involve physical activity could be used to combat obesity.Studies have found that playing Dance Dance Revolution can provide an aerobic workout, in terms of a sufficiently intense heart rate, but not the minimum levels of VO2 max. Based on successful preliminary studies, West Virginia, which has one of the highest rates of obesity and its attendant diseases in the US, introduced Dance Dance Revolution into its schools' physical education classes. According to The New York Times , more than "several hundred schools in at least 10 states" have used Dance Dance Revolution (along with In the Groove ) in their curricula. Plans have been made to increase the number into the thousands in an effort to mitigate the country's obesity epidemic. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California, was a noted proponent of the game's use in schools. In Japan, celebrities reported losing weight after playing Dance Dance Revolution, which drove sales of the game's home console version. Bemani's testers also found themselves losing weight while working on the game. There is further anecdotal evidence that these games aid weight loss, though the University of Michigan Health System has cautioned that dance games and other exergames should only be a starting point towards traditional sports, which are more effective. Dance games have also been used in rehabilitation and fall-prevention programs for elderly patients, using customised, slower versions of existing games and mats. Researchers have further experimented with prototypes of games allowing wider and more realistic stepping than the tapping actions found in commercial dance games.
Guitar Hero games have been used alongside physical therapy to help recovering stroke patients, because of the multiple limb coordination that the titles require.Blondie drummer Clem Burke has worked with researchers at the University of Chichester and the University of Gloucestershire to determine how games like Guitar Hero can address issues of "child and adult obesity, autism, stroke patients and health and mental well-being in the workplace". Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have used Guitar Hero III and its controller to help amputee patients, and to develop new prosthetic limbs for these patients. Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno modified a haptic feedback glove to work with the Guitar Hero freeware clone Frets on Fire , resulting in Blind Hero , a music game for visually impaired players that is played with only touch and audio. MIT students collaborated with the government of Singapore and a professor at the National University of Singapore to create AudiOdyssey , a game which allows both blind and sighted gamers to play together. Guitar Hero was used as part of a Trent University youth sleep study, which showed that, in general, players who played a song were better at it twelve hours later if that period included normal sleep.
Guitar Hero and Rock Band have introduced people to rock music and inspired them to learn how to play the guitar. A study by Youth Music found that 2.5 million out of 12 million children in the United Kingdom have begun learning how to play real instruments after playing music video games such as Guitar Hero. The group believes that these video games can be incorporated into music educational programs.Guitar teachers in the US have reported an increase in students who cite Guitar Hero as their inspiration to start learning. On the other hand, industry professionals, such as the inventor of the Fretlight practice tool, have expressed scepticism over the game's educational value. There is anecdotal evidence that Guitar Hero aids rhythm and general hand-coordination, but also that it creates a false preconception of the difficulty of learning guitar, which can lead students to discontinue their studies. Guitar Center conducted a survey which found that a majority of instrument-based rhythm gamers intended to take up a real instrument in the future while a majority of those who were already musicians had been inspired to play their instruments more. Despite such popularity the guitar remains less popular than it was in the 1960s. Some musicians have been critical of Guitar Hero's impact on music education. Jack White of The White Stripes stated that he was disappointed to learn that video games are the most likely venue where younger audiences will be exposed to new works, while Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin does not believe that people can learn how to play real instruments from their video game counterparts. Similarly, Prince has turned down opportunities to have his music in the Guitar Hero series, stating that he felt that it was "more important that kids learn how to actually play the guitar". Other commentators have pointed to drum controllers (including the expanded, lifelike Drum Rocker kit) used in such games as potentially useful in learning and creating music with real drums.
Guitar Hero is a music rhythm video game developed by Harmonix and published by RedOctane for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It is the first entry in the Guitar Hero series. Guitar Hero was released on November 8, 2005 in North America, April 7, 2006 in Europe and June 15, 2006 in Australia. The game's development was a result of collaboration between RedOctane and Harmonix to bring a Guitar Freaks-like game to America.
Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were released in North America on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was released on December 18, 2007 and the Wii version on June 22, 2008. Harmonix previously developed the first two games in the Guitar Hero series, which popularized gameplay of rock music with guitar-shaped controllers. After development of the series was shifted to Neversoft, Harmonix conceived Rock Band as a new title that would offer multi-instrument gameplay.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a music rhythm game, the third main installment in the Guitar Hero series, and the fourth title overall. The game was published by Activision and distributed by RedOctane. It is the first game in the series to be developed by Neversoft after Activision's acquisition of RedOctane and MTV Games' purchase of Harmonix, the previous development studio for the series. The game was released worldwide for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 in October 2007, with Budcat Creations assisting Neversoft on developing the PlayStation 2 port and Vicarious Visions solely developing on the Wii port respectively. Aspyr Media published the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X versions of the game, releasing them later in 2007.
Guitar Hero World Tour is a music rhythm game developed by Neversoft, published by Activision and distributed by RedOctane. It is the fourth main entry in the Guitar Hero series, the sixth on home consoles and the seventh overall. The game was launched in North America in October 2008 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 consoles, and a month later for Europe and Australia. A version of World Tour for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh was later released.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a music rhythm game developed by Neversoft, published by Activision and distributed by RedOctane. It was released on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles, with Budcat Creations solely developing the PlayStation 2 port, Vicarious Visions solely developing the Wii port, and Aspyr Media solely publishing the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X ports. The game was released on June 26, 2008 in Europe, on June 29, 2008 in North America, August 6, 2008 in Australia and October 9, 2008 in Japan. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith sold as both a bundle with a specially designed guitar controller as well as a game-only package.
Rock Revolution is a music video game developed by Zoë Mode and HB Studios and published by Konami. It was revealed on May 15, 2008, and released on October 15, 2008 for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. As with similar titles, the game uses various controllers to simulate the performance of rock music, primarily using guitar and drum controllers on its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.
Rock Band 2 is a 2008 music video game developed by Harmonix. It is the sequel to Rock Band and is the second title in the series. The game allows up to four players to simulate the performance of popular songs by playing with controllers modeled after musical instruments. Players can play the lead guitar, bass guitar, and drums parts to songs with "instrument controllers", as well as sing through a USB microphone. Players are scored on their ability to match scrolling musical "notes" while playing instruments, or by their ability to match the singer's pitch on vocals.
Guitar Hero 5 is a music rhythm game and the fifth main entry in the Guitar Hero series and the twelfth overall. The game was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision, and released internationally in September 2009 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles. Similar to the preceding title, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero 5 is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. The game is available as a standalone title, allowing players to use existing compatible instrument controllers, and as a bundle that provides these controllers. Guitar Hero 5 adds several new features, such as drop-in/drop-out play, bands composed of any combination of available instruments, a Rockfest competitive mode consisting of several various scoring mechanisms, and both song-specific and general Challenges to unlock new avatars, clothing, and other extras in the game. Many of these changes were added to make the game a more social experience, allowing players across a range of skill levels to be able to play cooperatively and competitively against each other both locally and online.
The Beatles: Rock Band is a 2009 music video game developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the third major console release in the Rock Band music video game series, in which players can simulate the playing of rock music by using controllers shaped like musical instruments. The Beatles: Rock Band is the first band-centric game in the series, and it is centered on the popular English rock group the Beatles. The game features virtual portrayals of the four band members performing the songs throughout the band's history, including depictions of some of their famous live performances, as well as a number of "dreamscape" sequences for songs from the Abbey Road Studios recording sessions during the group's studio years. The game's soundtrack consists of 45 Beatles songs; additional songs and albums by the Beatles were made available for the game as downloadable content.
Guitar Hero is a series of rhythm video games published by Activision in which players use guitar-shaped controllers to mimic the playing of numerous popular rock music songs in a score attack gameplay; later games in the series have included support for both drums and vocals and playing as a full band. With over $2 billion in total sales worldwide, the game series has made a significant cultural impact, becoming a "cultural phenomenon" and recognizable in the popular culture. The series has been found to influence younger players into learning real instruments, and has found application within the health care industry to help recovering patients.
Green Day: Rock Band is a 2010 music video game developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the fifth major console release in the Rock Band music video game series and it allows players to simulate the playing of rock music by using controllers shaped like musical instruments. The game's setlist consists of songs by the American punk rock band Green Day. Green Day: Rock Band features virtual depictions of the three band members performing the songs in new venues designed for the game.
Rock Band 3 is a 2010 music video game developed by Harmonix. The game was initially published and distributed by MTV Games and Electronic Arts, respectively, in late October 2010. Mad Catz took over both roles and re-released the title on November 23, 2011. It is the third main game in the Rock Band series. As with the previous titles, Rock Band 3 allows players to simulate the playing of rock music and many other subgenres using special instrument controllers mimicking lead and bass guitar, keyboard, drums, and vocals. Rock Band 3 expands upon previous games by including three-part vocal harmonies — previously used in The Beatles: Rock Band and Green Day: Rock Band — plus support for MIDI-compatible keyboards, electronic drumkits, and even use of a real guitar in "Pro" mode.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a music video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It was the sixth main entry in the Guitar Hero series and fifteenth overall, and was released in September 2010 for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Similar to previous entries in the franchise, it is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. The game is available as a standalone title, allowing players to use existing compatible instrument controllers, and as a bundle that provides these controllers.
Rock Band 4 is a 2015 music video game developed and published by Harmonix. Rock Band 4 allows players to simulate the playing of music across many different decades and genres using instrument controllers that mimic playing lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. As the fourth main installment in the Rock Band franchise, it was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 6, 2015. Mad Catz, who also developed new instrument controllers for the game, marketed and distributed the title worldwide at launch; Performance Designed Products (PDP) will take over manufacturing and distribution by the end of 2016. The game shipped with more than sixty licensed songs; additional songs are available as downloadable content, which includes a library of over 2000 existing songs from prior installments.
Guitar Hero Live is a music video game developed by FreeStyleGames and published by Activision. It was released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in October 2015 and to iOS devices including Apple TV in November 2015. As with previous games in the series, the goal is to use a special guitar controller to match fret patterns displayed on a scrolling note pattern on screen in time with the music.