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Does the shift to a more family friendly game hurt the Rockstar brand?

Posted by: Chuck at 3/8/2006 11:40 AM
Rockstar shocked the gaming industry last week with their announcement that their next game was going to be a table tennis game for the Xbox 360.  Better known for their edgy, ultra violent games the decision to develop something so passive was a bit shocking.  In his most recent blog post, Scott Miller asks if the decision to make this game dilutes the brand equity that Rockstar has built up over the last five years or so.  He's got a point in that when you think Rockstar you don't think table tennis, you think about the Grand Theft Auto series or The Warriors game, not some non-violent sport involving paddles and a little white ball.  You also think about great game play and advancing the medium which is something that Rockstar might also be doing with this game and it's hard to judge a games impact on a company before anyone has even played it.  If the game is less than stellar, this decision could come back to haunt the company.