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The Future of Rocksmith?


mczero
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I'm after inside information or informed opinion, not just wishful thinking.

Lets face it Guitar Hero and Rock Band are all but dead and no longer supported by the companies that made billions from them.

In 2012 we got Rocksmith, great.

In 2014 we got Rocksmith 2014, even better.

In 2016 we got Rocksmith Remastered for free, Yah!

In 2018 we got a few bug fixes, great.

So what next?

It's now a relatively mature product, so any improved version would probably require a complete costly rewrite.

Ubisoft continues to support the product with ODLC, great, but for how long?

CF has an apparently growing membership, a huge database of content and many dedicated charters (especially in death metal.  :))

We see guitar shops folding and time honoured guitar companies going bankrupt. Kids are into singing and dancing these days more than playing guitars.

Will Ubi upgrade again and keep the psarc format or create a whole new music game with a different format DLC.

Will some other software company see the possibilities and create a bigger, better music game for guitarists and steal away RS users?

Can CF carry on if Ubi dumps the product, no more support, ODLC or Real tone cables?

Of course, we all want the status quo to continue with more improvements and more ODLC. I buy as much ODLC as I can afford with this in mind, even if I've got the song in CDLC.

Does any member know someone who works for Ubisoft or a developer and can shed light on any of this?

Your information in response is most welcome.

Cheers,

mczero

 

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hmmm status quo...i think I have some of their music somewhere..

 

theres a few music channels on youtube talking about the death of guitar (and its stringed kin)..

blaming no real innovators, very few guitar icons left, and a whole host of other reasons...

personally I think they missed the boat on the new generation of kids who are choosing auto tune or dancing over

learning an instrument.. because its easy to load a program on ya computer, dork around with various sound programs..dump it on youtube

and instant what-have-you.

 

problem with instant gratification is theres no real 'accomplishment' .. where as, I did the hard yards, and now I reap what I sowed ..sow ..sue... is dying

RS did something amazing (something GH could never acchieve, and Rock Band 3 came close to doing) and put REAL instruments in the hands

of users..and you really can learn to play. 

 

Rocksmith 'future' has to build on that by actually loading in some music theory in there....

eg

Thunderstruck ... Key of E Major.. 135 bpm.. scales you can use are that Major scale.. blues major/minor this... or B mixolydian)

(the secret to AC/DC is keep it simple..and lots of mixolydian)

 

expand on the lessons by doing a scale and showing them "this is your 3rd... this is the flat 5th... this is the 9th, 11th 13th.."

Dissonant notes lesson i would think is a must.. along with how to resolve.. etc..

so they arent just learning the vocabulary (chords, scales and keys) but how they work

 

if they can figure out how to do that and keep the same general RS we've come to love... they will have a winner.

I also think they know this...

 

what they must avoid at all costs is doing an Activgreed and pumping out any old shit for a buck.

cos everyone knows who fucked the GH franchise to death ...

 

now to go look @ my Status Quo tabs...

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First let's unpack a few things here. GH is dead at the moment but RB4 is far from dead and still get 2 DLC/week and gets updated pretty regularly.

 

 

Ubisoft continues to support the product with ODLC, great, but for how long?

 

As long as it makes money which seems to be working pretty well considering the name they are able to license, the fact that they are still recruiting notetrackers (just look for job applications at Ubi SF and you'll see a few concerning RS). So far nothing indicate that it will slow down anytime soon.

 

 

 

We see guitar shops folding and time honoured guitar companies going bankrupt. Kids are into singing and dancing these days more than playing guitars.

 

What's your data there? Outside of Gibson filling for bankruptcy because of bad investment in lot of side company, the Gibson brand regarding guitar is effectively being saved by that moved because the bankruptcy filling allowed them to sold many side company to cover their asses and keep the guitar part of Gibson perfectly intact. I'm not sure how informed you are on what people like to do with their times but it's not like the RS community outside of CF is diminishing, quite the opposite. The activity over Reddit, Discord, Facebook and even RS forum is far from bad.

 

 

Will Ubi upgrade again and keep the psarc format or create a whole new music game with a different format DLC.

 

Impossible to know but nothing indicate they have any intention of radically changing anything. Also note that any major change to their DLC format would also require themself to update of all their previous work which is an enormous task that is only growing and it's more likely that they would want to keep the change as minimal as possible or to be able to automate as much as possible out of it anyway. Also note that they already rarely do make small alteration to files inside PSARC, it's just not visible for the end user.

 

 

Will some other software company see the possibilities and create a bigger, better music game for guitarists and steal away RS users?

 

Unlikely, the biggest cost of such a system is to have the note recognition, something that RS dev have been working and improving upon for over 10 years now (considering it started for RS1 dev). It's a huge think to fight against for a competitor and Bandfuse didn't quite succeed even though they had an exclusive partnership with Sony for Hendrix material which didn't quite last because Hendrix appeared in RS2014 once the deal expired.

And RS also have the huge library which is an insane advantages for that kind of game and a newcomer would need to get some huge name sooner rather than later which would be complicated unless they find a partner ready to bet on them.

 

 

Can CF carry on if Ubi dumps the product, no more support, ODLC or Real tone cables?

 

There's no reason we can't. But so far it hasn't really been a question either.

 

 

Does any member know someone who works for Ubisoft or a developer and can shed light on any of this?

 

Note that the weekly stream the team make allow to find a decent amount of information. Things have been moving in the right way for the team from what we can tell and as i said, they are still recruiting. There's no way to know everything that goes behind the scene and the few people that were able to go into the studio at SF are under NDA so you won't have more information from them anyway without them taking a risk that just isn't worth it.

 

I hope some of this will allow some people to gain some perspective on what "seems the most possible" at the moment and the death of RS isn't quite part of it.

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Thanks guys for taking the time to cover this. Some useful info here like Ubi recruiting staff for RS. I wasn't aware of that. Also a good point about  the critical mass of the psarc format. Hopefully that will be enough to ensure survival for some time.

I hope I didn't sound too negative. Far from it in fact. I was just trying to look ahead a bit  and saw some dangers.

"What's your data there?" I have no hard data, just some observations from around where I live and in the media (3 long standing guitar shops have folded). That's why I was asking the question.

It's good to hear that the other RS communities are expanding. I tend to spend my time alternating between the Ubi store and CF.

Like fetal_icecream, I would like to see some scale and modal theory included, but remember the success of RS was based on making it easy to get started, so not upfront, but it could be buried in there somewhere.

Thanks for this guys. Really good to be confident that the platform will be around for a while yet. Here's hoping.

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That's why Rocksmith should turn into digital and have maybe yearly 60.00 updates that adds features... Maybe another Ubisoft games engine can fit into it for dancing. I assume since lady gag a had poker face and there's other dance beats with guitar bass or at least bass. Wouldn't programmed techno club junk have a way to play guitar with some special tone selector.

Or drums but that's a big set but some have band basements etc where the max are playing. Use a singing games engine...1 person sings...1 lead 1 rhythm guitar=2.......1 bass=1 and if dancing allowed like a hype man that dances or groopee let on stage 1 person and if drums added 1 person so max 6 people. That makes a party game or a party mode where person plays a short test track to get their skill score saved and for friends who barely know much can have a very simplified version bends don't need to bend they make the sound like stupid guitar hero. Add more learning tools etc...Maybe depending on how big the changes you get 50 songs to 20. But 60. And they take their average sales for each dlc to see how many x each was bought to give it a digital value paid royaltywise each year like Amazon or spotify you're paid for each listen might be $0.015 dollars the artist gets.

If digital subscription only....there's no pc piracy of official doc. They can add a tool to make your bands songs export or import. Then you import song. Backdoor for custom forges since they are okay with them plus opens up your own new creativity and Xbox ps4 customs put on usb or hard drive.

 

Service can have subscriptions of play any songs. Play X number of dlc. You pick them beginning of month. Dlc can be for sale at reduced price due to monthly subscription. So your subscription u try and can buy and if you own 200 of 1000 songs... If you get 50 dlc a month to test subscription wise out of the 800 songs. Unlimited be the top tier subscription. If Ubisoft closes then the service can be sold or you'll still be able to play your songs

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It seemed like for most people, real guitar is too hard for a party game. Rock Band 3 or Bandfuse would be the closest matches to your suggestion, but neither of those had dancing and both of those have reached their end. I'd like to see a subscription model, but it would probably cost more than people would want.

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GHTV had a subscription model, the game just died and server are shutdown making that part of GHL totally useless.

 

As Raynebc said, RS isn't a party game and it isn't meant as one either and their market is clearly people that want to learn guitar unlike RB.

 

 

If digital subscription only....there's no pc piracy of official doc.

That's not necessarily right. The file have to be accessed from somewhere and if the file are stored the way they are today, then it'll be even easier to pirate ALL the DLC, just take the subscription once in a while and you get all the file to alter for your own convenience. I doubt the infrastructure to have the file not stored locally would be worth it and it'll be worse for people with limited internet connection.

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A new Rocksmith will likely arrive, just look at the money yousician is pulling in, and i wouldn't say no to a looper function, drum samples, session mode tweaked.

 

more tutorials, e.g sweep picking, slide, an explanation on modes, etc. A few tweaks to the note recognition, more venues and customisation.

A few more arcade games.

 

The amp and pedals, could again, do with an overhaul.

Support for generic guitar cables.

a recording suite.

Master mode tweaked to aid learning a bit more.

have i mentioned clear indication on rhythm patterns before.... 

the list goes on.

 

But i'll be keeping Rocksmith and RS2014 either way, purely as back up, for when exe files get deleted again via patches...in the RS2020

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I'll be the 'Debbie Downer'...  It's dead, Jim.  Sorry if you don't want to hear this, but take a look at the recent RS changes...

 

Brian #1 going on a sabbatical, and changing job titles.

Dan Amrich stepping down as Community Director, now as a 'dev'. Rumored to be actually part-time on RS and reinventing himself to another team. Doug Lilly (his replacement) kinda sucks.

Ubi-Red Storm hit with layoffs in 2018 - rumored to close in 2019. Doug Lilly jumped ship from Red Storm just in time.

 

Average Twitch audience was @250 in 2016. Now struggles to break 100. Holiday stream was at a 3 year low.

 

So many old timers left - granted, with the addition of some very talented newcomers. However, the team is negative a few seats.

 

Let's not forget the Gibson bankruptcy. That big corporate partner can't/won't sponsor RS any more. KKR Credit is the new owner, and is focusing on saving/restructuring Gibson without entangling alliances.

 

The big reason? The entire gaming industry took a record loss in 2018. Additionally, Ubi SanFran has made some piss-poor decisions with regards to politics and titles, and their audience responded with the lack of purchases.

 

$3 a song isn't going to float a department in San Francisco. That city has one of the highest (THE highest?) cost-of-living requirements in the US. $250k = food stamps in that hellhole. Profits need to match, and a dying title from 2014 isn't going to excite the zoomers enough to steal their single-parent's credit card.

 

Pro Tip: NEVER place a date in the title of your media (film/TV/game). The date either ages your material (Rocksmith 2014? Why would I play a title from 2014?!?!), or makes you look stupid when the date arrives (remember _Space 1999_?)

 

I will quietly await the shitstorm of hate-replies now. Just remember - this community can keep RS going forever.

-

(PS im not an Ubi employee)

(PPS - Yousician is being sued by Ubisoft, icydk)

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Brian #1 going on a sabbatical, and changing job titles.

He did have gone through a sabatical but he hasn't changed job titles : https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianadammccune

 

 

Dan Amrich stepping down as Community Director, now as a 'dev'.

He himself didn't call it a step down and he sure isn't a "dev", he moved up in Ubi SF community management.

 

 

Doug Lilly (his replacement) kinda sucks.

Your appreciation of the guy on stream doesn't reflect on his capacity to actually do his primary job that is community dev though and he never worked for Red Storm and i can't find any information regarding Red Storm Layoff in 2018 so i'm not sure what information you base that on unless you have inside information you would like to share.

 

 

Average Twitch audience was @250 in 2016. Now struggles to break 100. Holiday stream was at a 3 year low.

It's true that twitch audience have gone down from previous year but they don't struggles to break 100. they've constantly hit above 100 views on every single stream this year https://sullygnome.com/channel/rocksmithgame

 

 

Let's not forget the Gibson bankruptcy.

Sure but that's only a partner, one amongst a few and not one that keep on sending goodies or offering element to give away. I'm not sure how you can evaluate the impact it has on Rocksmith without being an insider of any of the two company at this point.

 

 

The entire gaming industry took a record loss in 2018.

It doesn't mean that a single entity inside the industry can't perform well or even decently though. Even Ubisoft across all their IP can have variation in performance. The industry isn't an indicator of RS own performance.

 

 

Profits need to match

Please enlighten us to their sales number and how they are incapable of generating a profit with the current price point of DLC? You are not an Ubisoft employee so it's information you are speculating upon nothing. It's not that you are wrong, it's just that baseless remark like this in the attempt to skew the perception toward your opinion is counter productive for everyone.

 

 

Pro Tip: NEVER place a date in the title of your media

It's a lesson they've learned the hard way, mistakes happen and idiot decision can be taken everywhere by everyone. It was indeed a dumb move on their part, no one will disagree with you here.

 

Regarding Ubisoft vs Yousician, it's a patent issue. The patent was legally issued in Nov 2017 and they started the procedure to sue Yousician in August 2018. It's impossible to tell how far this will go and if this will even result in anything important but the fact Yousician was only sued now is simply because of how long it took for the patent to be issued in the US.

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The biggest issue...in my mind.... of the downturn in the gaming industry and especially Ubisoft... is the going to the mindless console platforms and putting out trash (looking at Fallout 76 and the utter failure of being able to capitalize on an established named game).  thats my take on gaming in general.  Software companies need to pull their heads out of their collective asses and realize you still need to put out a quality product.  Be it games, software, or anything in general.  Right now major companies (Ubi included) are hitting rock bottom IMHO.

 

Back to music in general...  I dont see the downfall of music (guitar in particular).   Look at bands like Iron Maiden, after 30+ years, still selling out 80,000+ crowds.  The hunger is still there and always will be there for those of us that play and appreciate music.

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The future is mobile devices. I just saw this docking station called the DeX (???). Hooks into a monitor, uses the phone as a touch pad, and has several USB's and headphone jacks installed. I know the new phones blow my 9 year old desktop out of the water in computing power. 

 

Also, could there be a possible Android-iOS compatability in the future?  Just hook the cable into the USB port, wear some headphone, and you can play on a 8"-12" screen making it ultra portable. If they do, they should upgrade to using a USB-C connector. 

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Well, I think there is going to be a new title coming in the next 2-3 years. Simply because there is going to be a new console. 

Since the amount of dlc that is still being bought there has to be a title on that platform too.

I think its going to be very unlikely to be the same.

It could even be only some sort of UI reinvention outside of core gameplay. 

 

There is also the failed arcade games, I hope they have another crack at inventing some new practice tools/games. But this time without those silly failure states. 

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I think, if anything, all they would need is another big update, much like the transition from 2014 to Remastered. Remove the 2014 branding, but continue to support the current product through bigger changes and bug fixes, negating the cost of developing an entire new product. 

They know about the community and what we've done for the game, that the twitch streamers and what have you rely on ODLC and CDLC, and it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to put out an entire new game just yet. 

I don't see RS going anywhere, any time soon and that can only be a good thing. 

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Remove the 2014 branding

They can't get rid of that branding for legal reason. They already said that they made it as small as legally possible on the logo for the remastered, going further or getting rid of it entirely would just put them in a legal mess.

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Remove the 2014 branding

They can't get rid of that branding for legal reason. They already said that they made it as small as legally possible on the logo for the remastered, going further or getting rid of it entirely would just put them in a legal mess.

 

Ah, I didn't know that! That's a shame, but such is life. 

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With Gibson's new CEO this would be a good time to approach Gibson / Epiphone and put RS forward as rival to the Fender play (which frankly Fender dropped the ball with this one).

Not mention to PC amp sims have come a long way over the last few years, there's room for a lot of improvements.

Hopefully as mentioned above this is going to lead to a new title for the next generation of consoles.

 

Re naming issues, they can just put this out as RS2014 remastered 2021 edition.

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https://source.android.com/devices/audio/latency/measurements

 

A value under 25ms is largely suggested for an app such as RS and those test don't include RS own computational processing of the signal which will add to those values. You can see that it largely limits the amount of device that would be supported and this also doesn't take into account the use of a USB input which might not offer the same latency figure either.

 

At this moment, Android and audio latency aren't quite best friend so far.

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