Unlike previous music/video game crossovers such as Guitar Hero and Rockband, which used plastic guitar controllers, Rocksmith is the first game to allow players to plug a standard guitar with a quarter inch jack into an Xbox 360 or PS3 and learn to play tunes from a library of songs.
With the Guitar Hero series now no more, Ubisoft is hoping it can build a new franchise with the title, which could provide a much-needed boost for MI retailers, bringing a fresh group of customers in-store and creating new musicians.
Ubisoft has already put together a bundle deal which includes the game and an Epiphone guitar for £159.99, which will be sold exclusively through Amazon, allowing indies to put together their own bundle packages.
“We didn’t feel as though it was entirely relevant to have this guitar bundle featured within MI retailers as they already have a great selection of instruments in-store that could be sold alongside the game anyway, for those that would like more choice in their instrument,” said brand manager, Rachael Grant.
The firm sees the game as an alternative learning product, with gameplay that adjusts according to the user’s level of proficiency.
“Rocksmith offers the most authentic guitar experience in music gaming and we really feel that the game allows players to develop genuine guitar skills and various styles while playing popular guitar tracks from the latest hits to classic rock songs,” she added.
“With Rocksmith being a game aimed at teaching beginners how to play guitar we would love to have a presence within traditional musical retailers as an alternative learning product.”
However, there will inevitably be scepticism from MI retailers who will worry about a video game being the right fit.
“It definitely is the right product for MI retailers,” said Grant. “First and foremost this game is a learning tool to encourage people to play guitar, or to pick up their guitars once again and show a new enthusiasm for them. We think that Rocksmith is set to be a new video game franchise that could revolutionise the music genre.
“All the information they need will be available for retailers to give them the knowledge on what the premise of the game is, and all the features and technicalities of the game.”
Rocksmith will be demoed to the trade at this month’s MIRC event at the Brewery in London on June 28th. Dealers interested in attending can still register by emailing email@example.com.