If you read the latest news from Rocksmith, Ubisoft’s learn to play guitar game, you would think that the game was a roaring success. Released in October 2011, the game has sold 1.4 million copies worldwide and an additional 3 million songs have been downloaded from the site library. Early bugs in the PS3 release affected sales, and slow sales have led many to speculate that a sequel is not on the horizon.
Rocksmith’s latest claim is that a “new national research study confirms Rocksmith is the fastest way to learn guitar.” This study was performed by the Research Strategy Group, and I can find no other information on it outside of the press release. What I can find is that the Research Strategy Group prides itself on its ability to “translate our findings into usable, effective and practical marketing tools.” The statement made is that “Rocksmith is the fastest way to learn how to play the guitar.“
In terms of research, that statement is fairly broad and hard to substantiate. What is it being compared to? One on one instruction, or trying on your own, or not attempting the guitar at all? Over what period of time? None of the research is really revealed at all, except for the information that Ubisoft would be excited to divulge.
Research and studies are easy to manipulate without knowing more about the strategies and control groups used in the research. Articles say that hundreds of participants were used across four major US cities. How were they selected? What was the control group? Without this information, Ubisoft’s claims that Rocksmith is the “best” and “easiest” are empty and insubstantial.
Ubisoft did say that exciting Rocksmith news will be announced at E3 2013. So if you’re interested in the guitar-based game and its possibilities for the next generation of consoles, then be sure to check them out.