Activision's DJ Hero hits store shelves tomorrow, and it might linger there a bit longer than expected, as Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz drops sales projections for the rhythm game by more than 50%.
Will hype, demo booths, and the Hero brand be enough to make DJ Hero a smash hit? Perhaps not, if Cowen and Company's projections are accurate. The company recently conducted a survey of online retailers regarding Activision's DJ game, and the results weren't as impressive as Activision may have hoped.
"On DJ Hero, despite some recent positive comments from company management about pre-orders, we remain very cautious about the title's prospects at launch," he noted. "A survey of online retailers indicates a demand profile that is well below what we would have expected to see just a few days before launch for a title that was destined to be a big (or even modest) hit. As a result, we are reducing our estimate for DJ Hero Q4 US unit sales from 1.6 million to 600,000, and we are reducing our first year estimate from 2.5 million to 950,000."
Creutz still believes that DJ Hero will eventually be a huge success, but expects it to do so over the course of several sequels.
These numbers make sense to me. While Guitar Hero and Rock Band have the benefit of recognizable instruments and music, DJ Hero consists of mashups of popular songs performed using a device that not a lot of consumers are familiar with. Just tally up how many times you've seen someone play imaginary guitars or drums or sing into a fake microphone versus how often you see someone air turn-tabling.