Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Guitar Hero's Dan Rosensweig Speaks!


Yesterday, BoomTown did a tour of the Mountain View, Calif., HQ of Guitar Hero, which is poised for a series of launches, including the fifth version of Guitar Hero and new music games Band Hero and DJ Hero.

While there, I interviewed CEO Dan Rosensweig, the well-known Silicon Valley exec who was once COO of Yahoo (YHOO) and who took over the high-profile division of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) in May in what was a bit of a surprise move into the music gaming industry.

Rosensweig had been working in private equity since his departure from Yahoo in late 2006. Previous to that, he worked at CNET Networks and Ziff-Davis.

Except that Rosensweig is a well known music fan–for example, having crisscrossed the country to see Bruce Springsteen play innumerable times–so he seems to be pretty happy with his new gig when I talked to him.

He certainly has a big job ahead, considering renewed competition from Viacom (VIA) in the form of its soon-to-be-released Beatles version of the competing Rock Band game, as well as a big slump in sales in the music game category.

The question is: Can innovation keep Guitar Hero alive? So far, the reviews for the new version are strong, but whether they translate into sales will be closely watched.

Rosensweig talked about that and more in this video interview:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work