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Activision's Kotick Confirms  DJ Hero  Game This Year
Activision's Kotick Confirms DJ Hero Game This Year
January 30, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

January 30, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Activision's DJ Hero, a widely-rumored music game supported by a turntable peripheral, is set to release this year, says CEO Bobby Kotick.

Speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Kotick responded to CNBC reporters' questions about innovation in the games business by touting the upcoming product.

"We have this product called DJ Hero coming out later this year, which is a turntable that you can actually play competitively, spin discs and mix on," he explained, although he offered no further detail on released dates or any other related information.

The game seems conceptually similar to Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, a previously announced game from 7 Studios and Genius Products, in development with the help of hip hop veteran Quincy Jones III. It's also accompanied by a turntable controller, and gameplay focuses on the DJ experience.

Specifically on peripheral-driven titles' ability to widen markets, Kotick noted, "This physical interface is starting to have a real impact on the consumer."

Earlier in the same interview Kotick was asked about Activision's positioning against the global economic decline.

"We're sitting on $3 billion in cash and no debt," he said simply. "We've been fortunate not to have to access the credit markets."

Would Activision consider using any of that money for further business acquisitions? Kotick says right now the company is "focused on running our business," but at the same time, "it's nice to know that you have the strength... of balance sheet if there is a strategic opportunity."

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Tom Newman
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Good luck! DJ culture has never hit mainstream as far as the music goes. Unlike SingStar and Guitar Hero that has actual "hit" records as part of the soundtrack, DJ hero I assume would be hip-hop and electronic music. Hip hop has the hits for sure, but all other genres of DJ culture music are too widespread to please any one person. I have been DJing for over 15 years all over the world in various clubs and events, along with working on Detroit's electronic music festival, and one of the frustrating things from being an "insider" in DJ culture is the mainstream's lack of understanding of the music itself. Most times "DJ culture" music is presented in one package mixing various genres, such as trance, techno, house, pop; etc, when in all reality, these genres are as distinct and different as country, speed metal, and polka.

The only developer who actually understands this is Rockstar, who used to actually throw techno events in the mid-90's, and have demonstrated their electronic knowledge through the outstanding soundtracks of Midnight Club 1, and Rockstar Table Tennis.

The other MAJOR problem with this title is that anyone with a computer can ALREADY buy a digital DJ control unit from TARGET (or Guitar Center; etc) for about $100 - $150, download music from, and have a near-professional setup that will beat-match your songs automatically. How a DJ Hero game could be much different than this will be a good question.

Allen Seitz
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Reply to Toms final paragraph:

Two ways they could solve it:

1) Implement the same gameplay as Guitar Hero with a new controller. I imagine the whammy bar could be a turntable or Koas pad. So no actual DJing, just more vertically scrolling charts. That's very different from the real thing.

2) Make it a tool like KORG-DS. But instead of leaving it freeform like a Will Wright game, provide me with instructions and goals. This doesn't seem hard to implement, but it seems hard to make it fun.

Also, why a DJ game? Did their market research tell them that this would be in demand? I very much doubt it. They probably just said to themselves "Hm... guitar, drums, what's next?" and picked beatmania. Sometime in 2010 or 2011 I bet they'll announce a revolutionary rhythm/story hybrid. Like EBA.