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Left Behind And Guitar Praise Creators Form Christian Gaming Supergroup

Illustration for article titled Left Behind And Guitar Praise Creators Form Christian Gaming Supergroup

The company behind controversial end-of-days simulator Left Behind and the developer of Christian rock Guitar Hero knock-off Guitar Praise have merged, forming one giant powerhouse of Christian game development.

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Left Behind Games and Digital Praise are two of the biggest names in the Christian video game market. Left Behind Games made news in 2006 with the release of Left Behind, a violent PC game in which the player participates in the final holy war between the forces of good and evil.

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Digital Praise hit the Christian gaming scene big in 2005 with Dance Praise, a Dance Dance Revolution clone featuring Christian music, following that up with Guitar Praise in 2008.

Now the two companies announce a merger agreement, bringing together the two biggest names in Christian gaming under one banner.

"Digital Praise has the four key ingredients that will take our company to the next level," said Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon. "Those keys are: (1) strong brands and products, (2) multi-channeled distribution, (3) a solid management team and (4) a history of generating millions of dollars in the emerging Christian video game market, a feat no company has matched."

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Strong religious themes are generally avoided in the mainstream gaming industry (Dante's Inferno barely counts), so companies like Left Behind and Digital Praise service a growing segment of the population that we barely ever hear about. The merger between the two companies is big news for the Christian games industry. Think EA merging with Activision, only much smaller and with a deep-rooted fear of lions.

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DISCUSSION

Tenshigure
Tenshigure

The only reason games like Dance Praise & Guitar Praise exist is simply because the demographic of Christian Rock is not represented properly within the main titles created (or choose not to be associated with the acts in the main titles, take your pick). While Christian bands such as Kutless and Flyleaf have been tapdancing on the edge with some of their songs making it into Rock Band, the fact is there's this stigmata of confusion between Christian Rock (the aforementioned bands, Skillet, Demon Hunter) & Contemporary Christian Music (ie Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, etc.).

My point in explaining all of this is just to get to the simple fact that these games exist because no other company wishes to touch them. If they refuse to make such a game, why not allow another group to do so then? That's the main reason why they're not being sued after all, there really isn't a comparable product on the market that caters to this specific niche, and the only way they could really go after them is by providing a similar product.

I for one hope that something like Harmonix's Rock Band Studio allows many of these artists that can't seem to break into the mainstream unless they "sell out" the beliefs they write into their songs to be exposed to people just like many other small-name indy bands emerged from these same games. Too many people are willing to allow their blind prejudices, whether they are religious or not, direct them away from what can truly be great music even with the religious tones to them.

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One more thing: I really hope that this merger spells out massive increase in production value from these games. I've seen homebrew that look far more polished than the stuff coming from these people (Left Behind: The Game was buggy as hell), and the only way they can be taken seriously is to up the quality to compete. Otherwise they will truly look like they're just out for the money and nothing else.