Monday, August 18, 2008

Rock Band Manager

There is a ton of money in the video game industry. I am not just talking out of my ass on this one. You can look it up. Billions of dollars.

A while back, I predicted to myself that video game soundtracks were going to be the last lucrative outlet for record companies and bands as far as recorded materials are concerned. Dubbing and bootlegging video games is still much harder than uploading or downloading an MP3.

Not only did some video game manufacturers recognize this fact, but they figured out how to exploit it, to own it, to dive into it like Scrooge McDuck, by creating video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

These video games have become immensely popular. People love to pretend like they are rock stars, to sing and play along with famous songs, and now, new songs from up and coming bands.

Lets take it to eleven.

Here is the idea - Rock Band Manager, an online virtual world/community very similar to the real music industry.

Bands would promote their live shows to be performed via webcam.

Bands would create flyers for their band. Paste them up in a 3-D virtual city, promote themselves on message boards etc. Moreover, there would be venues with tie ins to famous real venues such as the Roxy and a resurrected virtual CBGB.

Here is the important part. There would be real money involved.

The bands would have to pay for flyers, and any other virtual promotional tool inside the system. And, fans would have to pay a cover charge to see these shows, but no ticket price could be over a dollar, and the flyers etc. cost would be in the one tenth of a cent range.

Why is this good for Harmonix / MTV / EA? Well, they would take a cut from all ticket sales. They would make money from selling this plug in or new version of the game. They would make money selling not only flyers etc. to the bands, but advertising space in the virtual world to everyone from Allstate to Zildjian.

If you work for Harmonix, MTV, or EA games, you should try to bring this up in a meeting, or you should gather a group of your fellow programmers, quit your jobs, form a new video game company, develop this idea, sell it back to MTV and EA, and retire to a tropical island.

Everyone wants to be a rock star, but it is way more fun to be a rock star with the whole world watching.

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Mike Germon said...

Shit Chuck, I think this might be the most profitable idea that you've sprung on us yet.

Charles McCarthy said...

Ideas are like angels. They only have power through your hands.

Anonymous said...

someone can represent this kid.

Anonymous said...

this sounds like a great idea! I'm not going to pretend like I fully understand it as the virtual world confuses me.

The other day I tried to make an avatar and he came out with down syndrome. which having an avatard I guess makes sense since I'm internet-tarded.

anyways I will tell you why I think this is good, is because bands like Rock Star are made for those who are lacking in talent but what about virtual games for those that are paralyzed by fear. These make up 50% of the people around real rock bands. They wish they were in a band so they are afraid to try, so they become a supporting character.

we all know those people that won't, despite it being a totally forgiving venue with no expectations, sing karoke. I'm sure there are a whole slew of people that won't play Rock Band for fear of performing badly in front of others... this game fills in that niche... i like it

Alan said...

And I heard there was some company coming out with some kind of senseurround porn site where you wear video goggles, and appropriately placed attachments, and feel the porn. Hmmmm, the successful rock stars could have virtual groupies!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if my post about Rock Star didn't make sense, I am new to this country and your words are like bubble gum on my finger tips.

I meant that people that don't like to sing vocally even in front of their friend associates can now play with them by being the promoter in the virtual world. Like the friend of the band that is always the manager and afraid of the stage or the fat girl that is always wanting to follow the band trying to make it with her camera

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Rock Band and Second Life collaborated...your idea could come into fruition.

Anonymous said...

Cool idea. But I think you'd have a better chance of getting it to work if the business model was based around advertising instead of charging people to promote their shows and fans to watch/listen. Harmonix/MTV/EA would be the sponsors (great branding play) but then you could also have additional advertisers (hopefully some in the music industries, so kids might want to pick up an interest in playing actual instruments).

Charles McCarthy said...

I know what you are saying. My concept, that might not have come across, is that everything having to do with the actual users would be a micro economy. The cost of putting up 500 flyers would be somewhere around 5-10 cents and most shows would probably cost somewhere around 5-10 cents to watch. I want it to totally be a penny ante kind of game, but I think it makes it more interesting to add real money into the mix. Plus, if a band gets popular enough to pull a crowd of 10,000 people, that is some real cash in their pocket, even at 10 cents a ticket. Incentive and learning about marketing and budgeting in a fun environment is what I see.

a said...

This idea is kind of already out there. There is an article I read on the NYTimes about a site called VLES. It's a digital version of the Lower East Side. Sorry, too lazy to go scrounge around and find the URL.

Charles McCarthy said...

Thank you for your comment. I am always interested to hear what people have to say.

I checked out VLES. It seems to just be Viacom's attempt to out hipster Fox/Myspace.

I only briefly checked it out, but I didn't see any 3-D interfaces or live , realtime performances.

I think that the person who mentioned Second Life was more on the money.

angiehands said...

I have a great idea! i think Rockband should create a Christmas Rockband. I think this, because everyone loves singing Christmas carols, and I already know people that would buy a christmas Rockband