Music-based games are the video game industry's current trend.
, which produced one of the industry's biggest hits with its
franchise that lets users simulate playing an electric guitar. The
series, first released in 2005, has sold more than 2.5 million copies.
Surprisingly, video game leader
seemed content to let rival Activision take the lead. But it's now developing a title that could rival the
Along with Harmonix, the developer of the
MTV unit, EA has unveiled
, a game where users have their own virtual band and perform music using drum, bass/lead guitar and microphone.
is expected to be released for
PlayStation 3 and
Xbox 360 console during the holiday season.
EA has deals with almost all the major record labels and music publishers including
to make master recordings by their artists available for use in the game.
, Harmonix will brand and sell the peripherals for the Rock Band game.
Racing, sports or shooter games, the video game industry's staple genres aren't going away, but as the industry looks to expand its user base, it's turning towards titles that meld music and games together. In February,
EA acquired SingShot Media, an online karaoke community in a bid to step into this territory.
, EA can potentially integrate SingShot and take it a step further. Harmonix suggests music tracks could be made available for download through the game potentially offering gamers a new way to get access to their favorite tune.
Meanwhile, Activision plans to release
Guitar Hero II
in April for the Xbox 360, and the third installment of the series could be out next year.
Shares of EA were recently up 63 cents, or 1.3%, to $50.99; Activision was off 19 cents, or 1%, to $18.75.