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Could Power Gig be the Next Rock Band?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 8, 2010 02:40 PM

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Buzz is starting to build this week about the new videogame "Power Gig," from Boston's Seven45 Studios. The game isn't out until October, but the company will be demoing it next week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

What's unique about the music game — aside from the fact that they've licensed some tunes from the likes of Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews — is that rather than playing it with a toy guitar, you use a real, tune-able six-string. It's as easy to use as a typical plastic guitar controller, but as you progress in your ability as a musician (or if you're already one), you can actually crank out real power chords, or simply plug it into an amp and rock out separately from the game.

Seven45's sister company, First Act, is a musical instrument maker in the Back Bay (and yes, 745 Boylston is the address of both companies.) Jeff Walker of Seven45 tells me the two companies share some executives and other resources, and that Seven45 has been entirely self-funded, without outside capital. (Walker is the VP of marketing for both Seven45 and First Act.) The game developer has about 75 employees, and has been working on "Power Gig" for just over two years, Walker says.

The guitar and drum peripherals that come with "Power Gig" will work with other music games, according to Seven45. Here's a preview of "Power Gig," which will be available for the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, from IGN.

Interestingly, Billboard writer Antony Bruno says that the rival game "Rock Band," from Cambridge-based Harmonix Music Systems, may also wind up heading in a more educational direction with its forthcoming "Rock Band 3."

Here's a video from the company explaining how the guitar will work.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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