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Music genre isn't dead, says Harmonix

User-generated content will save it.

Harmonix boss Alex Rigopulos has dismissed suggestions that the dream is over for music-based videogames.

"I absolutely do not believe that rhythm-action gaming has reached its peak," he told Edge.

"Of course 2009 was a tough year with the recession, which especially affects music games given the relatively high price point of instrument bundles. But in the long term, people’s passion for music isn’t going away, and rhythm gaming will continue to provide people with a deeper level of engagement with the music they love."

Harmonix is the company behind the original Guitar Hero and the more recent Rock Band games. Sales of such titles were down 46 per cent in the US last year, but that could be to do with the recession resulting in tough times for gaming overall - music games were behind only first-person shooters in terms of genre popularity.

So what's next? Does Rigopulos think that future music games will exceed the sales success of the last generation? "Yes, I do think that future music games will exceed the sales success of the last generation," said Rigopulos.

"User-generated content will be absolutely critical to the ongoing success of the genre, I think. To be clear, though, when I talk about 'users' in this context, I don't necessarily mean end-users or players. I'm talking about a huge community of power-users - skilled music creators - providing their music to the audience."

Good job then that Harmonix has just launched the beta for the Rock Band Network, a new service that will let users create, share and even sell their own songs.