Harmonix had to learn the hard way that people will only play amazing games like FreQuency and Amplitude if you give them big stupid plastic musical instruments to hold.
"I remain really proud of [FreQ and Amp] - I think they're great games - but the thing we learned from those games is that an abstract concept is very hard for people to get their heads around," Harmonix's Greg LoPiccolo, who was project leader on the PS2 games and Rock Band, told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz in an interview due up tomorrow.
"Our takeaway was, 'We believe in this gameplay, we think this gameplay is relevant to an American audience. How can we present it in a way that is more accessible?'" LoPiccolo said of the games' relatively low sales.
"If we put an instrument in your hands, then you are able to make that mental leap. 'Oh, I'm playing the part of a guitar player or a drummer, and this is what I am supposed to do.' I think that was really what made it work."
Good work, Greg. "Bridging that gap and making it a little more accessible and a little more familiar to people is a big deal," he concluded.
Assuming you can make the mental jump without your head exploding, you can read about why Amplitude in particular was so special in our Cult Classics: PS2 feature or indeed in the game's yonks-old review, which appears to have been written by a 12-year-old.