The original Guitar Hero didn't receive much in the way of advertising, and yet the game did phenomenally well. Now with a stellar property on its hands, RedOctane and Activision are stepping up the marketing big time. We speak with Dusty Welch, Head of Publishing for RedOctane.
Nowadays in the gaming industry, there are very few surprise hits anymore, but 2005's Guitar Hero was a phenomenon as such, exceeding everyone's expectations, including publisher RedOctane. This led to a major payoff for RedOctane founders Kai and Charles Huang who saw their company bought but Activision. It also led to them being named among the top 50 producers on the Digital 50 list.
However, with success comes big expectations. There are the expectations of the fans, who now want more high-profile bands and an overall better game in the sequel. Conversely, there are also the expectations of Activision, who no doubt want to see a major return on their investment for their stockholders. Still, even before its launch, Guitar Hero II is doing huge business; the product has the largest ever preorder for a single platform title in Activision's history.
GameDaily BIZ had the pleasure of speaking to Dusty Welch, the new Head of Publishing for RedOctane, to discuss how Guitar Hero practically sells itself with both consumers and Madison Avenue, why some songs are in and some songs simply aren't in yet and why RedOctane still rocks.