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Old August 8 2008, 04:16 AM   #1
Aragorn
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How Video Games Are Saving Classic Rock

Well, I for one, downloaded the entire Who 12-pack and Boston 6-pack for Rock Band.


Complete MSN Tech & Gadgets article here.

As the latest "American Idol" winners clog airwaves and classic rock FM stations fade in favor of pre-programmed stations that play "anything we want" -- usually overproduced glop -- superstars of old are getting less and less radio play.

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Surprisingly, the savior of classic rock may turn out to be the video game industry. With titles like Electronic Arts' "Rock Band" and Activision's "Guitar Hero," players -- particularly younger ones -- are getting a taste of what their parents used to rock out to.

"It's a great way for us to reach a lot of people who haven't experienced us," says Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry. "New fans get to experience this great music they normally would not. This is a way for kids to listen to it unadorned, and that's a great way for them to experience it."

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"Classic rock radio, what there is of it, is catering to an older and older demographic who [is] solely nostalgic for [its] musical past," says Steve Schnur, worldwide executive of music and marketing for EA. "[With music games], not only does the classic rock audience get to participate, but so does a whole new generation. Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or some group that's not relevant to their lives suddenly becomes so."

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In January, Activision announced that the "Guitar Hero" franchise had generated more than $1 billion in sales in just 26 months. As of May, the franchise has sold 16.3 million copies, according to the NPD Group. Between November 2007 and January 2008, consumers downloaded over 5 million songs, with prices ranging from free to $6.25 for a three-song pack, according to Activision.

"Rock Band" fans have bought some 2.4 million copies of the game at $170 per copy, NPD says. And as of June 30, players have paid to download 15 million songs, most for $2 each.

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