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Why the Music Industry Hates Guitar Hero

Nobody expected the number-one-with-a-bullet rise of the music videogame—least of all the music industry. Armed with little more than crappy graphics, plastic guitars, and epic hooks, play-along titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have become an industry in their own right, raking in more than $2.3 billion over the past three years. Album sales fell 19 percent this past holiday season, but the thrill isn’t gone—it just moved to a different platform.

The success of these games is good news for the music biz. They’re breathing new life into old bands (Weezer, anyone?) and helping popularize new ones. They’re even becoming a significant distribution outlet for new releases. So the record labels ought to be ecstatic, right? Nope. They’re whining over licensing fees. [ more @ WIRED ]

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