DJ Hero will primarily simulate Turntablism, and will feature score attack gameplay similar to the Guitar Hero games. The controller will consist of a wireless deck consisting of a movable Turntable that supports 3 "stream" buttons, an effects dial, a crossfader, and a "Euphoria" button; a hidden panel will contain additional controller buttons to interact with the gaming console outside of the game. A portion of the controller can be detached and reattached to adopt the unit for left-handed players. Notes will travel in an arc across a spinning record on screen, and the player will hold down one of the 3 stream buttons to play notes; two buttons reflect the two songs used in that particular mix, and the third represents samples to add to the mix which can be adjusted with the effects dial. The player must also constantly adjust the crossfader to match onscreen symbols. Certain tracks will be shown on screen as a series of up or down arrow, representing scratching sections, requiring the player to turn the turntable in the direction of the arrows while holding down the button to score points. "Euphoria" is equivalent to Guitar Hero's Star Power, collected by successfully completing specific phrases in the song mix, and can be released by pressing the Euphoria button, doubling the player's current multiplier. There is also a "Rewind" meter that builds through consistent successful playing, and once full, allows the player to rewind the song to fix errors in their performance. The player must continue to perform well or their performance meter will drop and they will fail the song.
A single player career mode will be available, as well both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes ("DJ vs DJ"), playable locally or remotely. Ten songs have been specially mixed to also support gameplay with Guitar Hero and other compatible guitar controllers in a "DJ vs Guitar" mode. Players can also use a microphone for a non-scoring addition to the mix. A Jukebox mode will allow the game to automatically play the songs with the ability for a player to jump in and play at any time.
Activision had initially applied for a trademark on the name DJ Hero in early 2008, leading to speculation that Activision was making plans to compete against Konami's Beatmania series of music video games with their own DJ game as a possible spinoff of their popular Guitar Hero series.
On September 12, 2008, Activision purchased FreeStyleGames, a small developer of music games, to help produce localized downloadable content for Guitar Hero games and another yet-to-be announced music game. This game was later revealed to be DJ Hero. Activision CEO Robert Kotick confirmed the existence of DJ Hero in an interview with CNBC on January 20, 2009, revealing a release "later this year". 
Activision CFO Thomas Tippl stated that DJ Hero would be aimed at a broader audience than the Guitar Hero games primarily through the use of more contemporary music in its soundtrack. Producer Will Townsend stated they opted for a wide variety of music to "make sure that everybody has something in there that they want." DJ Hero has been designed as a party game and to make the player "the life of the party", and has been developed with many gameplay modes to put the player "in control of the music", according to Townsend.
DJ Shadow was brought in by Activision during November and December 2008, at least a year into the development into the game, to help select individual songs, help with creating the mixes, and provide additional input for the game, and will also be a playable DJ avatar in the game. He was able to identify old effects samples that were used in the past for scratching for the developers to include the game. To create the mixes, DJ Shadow first created a "dry version" of each mix which did not include any embellishments. DJ Shadow then proceeded to build off that to create the "wet version" with added effects that was used as the base for the gameplay's mixes. Artists Eminem and Jay-Z have also served as consultants for the game; a special edition of DJ Hero will be branded with their names, and include a limited edition of the controller, a music CD of their songs, a DJ stand, and a travel case for the units. Jay-Z stated that he "[loved] the freedom" that the game gives him, and was able to work closely with Activision to put in new mixes that he envisioned, and considered the game "a DJ's universe", while Eminem believed DJ Hero was a game that he could "see [himself] actually playing". DJ's Z-Trip and DJ AM are both creating mixes for the game and will also be playable DJ's in the game; Z-Trip will also help demonstrate the game at the 2009 E3 Conference. Cut Chemist will also be assisting in creating mixes for the game.
On April 15, 2009, the publishers of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, Genius Products and Numark, sued against Scratch's developer, 7 Studios and Activision. The lawsuit contends that Activision purchased 7 Studios to both gain access to proprietary technology and to delay publication of the game so DJ Hero could come out first. The Los Angeles Superior Court in which the suit was filed did not grant the requested restraining order against Activision on DJ Hero. Activision states that Scratch was already delayed by as early as October 2008, before they made contact with 7 Studios, and their acquisition of the developers did not impede them from completing Scratch. However, on April 20, the court reversed its decision, awarding Genius and Numark a temporary restraining order, and ordered the "immediate return" of all of the material from 7 Studios from Activision, including all source code related to Scratch. 7 Studios subsequently filed a counter-suit against Genius Products, claiming that they engaged in "unlawful and unsavoury business practices" that limited 7 Studios from completing the game as planned.
Over 100 individual songs based on master recordings have been licensed by Activision, composed into over 80 two-song mashup stylemixes by both participating internationally-known DJs and an in-house remix team; some mixes will feature the same song as both parts of the mix, as in turntablism. Such mix artists include DJ Shadow, DJ z-Trip, DJ AM and Daft Punk. Initial industry speculation stated that DJ Tiësto would be involved with the game, but this was eventually denied. Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys was reported to have signed an exclusivity deal with 7 Studios to appear in their game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, meaning that he would also not appear on DJ Hero.
The individual songs themselves have been pulled from a large number of music genres, including grunge, soul, R&B, techno, hip hop, and house. The mixes listed below have been confirmed to be in the game. Additionally, the songs “The Way You Move” by Outkast, "Hip Hop" by Dead Prez, and Tiesto's "Elements Of Life", and additional songs from 50 Cent, Justice, N.E.R.D., Beck, Blondie and Billy Squier are confirmed to be in the game. There will be a Rihanna/Motörhead mash up. In addition to mixes using individual songs from both Eminem and Jay-Z, including Jay-Z's "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder". Eminem also stated that he will have additional songs included later in the year as downloadable content for the game. Universal Music Group is providing much of the content for the game.
|This page was last modified on 12 June 2009, at 08:41. This page has been accessed 10,716 times. Disclaimers|