Man, the competition between Guitar Hero and Rock Band is getting pretty cutthroat. Activision announced today that if you pre-order Guitar Hero 5, or if you pick up a specially marked copy of Guitar Hero 5 during the month of September, not only will you get a copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen for free, you'll get it "long before it takes the stage in stores." That's pretty vague, though with a current US release date of December 22, you could potentially be playing "Running With the Devil" and hurting yourself trying to do kick-splits in your living room a solid month or two before its street date, at the incredibly attractive price of free.
There's a certain As-Seen-On-TV, too-good-to-be-true vibe to this whole offer, like I'm being conned here, though that might just be my recent overexposure to QVC. Either way, I'm having a hard time getting a read on Activision's motivation here. Is this just a sign of the publisher's willingness to lose a potential sale to really reinforce loyalty to the Guitar Hero platform, or is the publisher uncertain about the sales potential for a Van Halen game? I know both the Aerosmith and Metallica games sold reasonably well, though the luster on the Van Halen legacy has, sadly, been tarnished by the past decade of weird in-fighting and constant personnel changes. With Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony both excluded entirely from Guitar Hero: Van Halen, it's apparent that has bled into the game as well. But hey, that's their problem--all you need to know is FREE GAME! FREE GAME!
Here's the fine print of the full press release.
Guitar Hero® is offering fans across the US an unheard of limited time bonus offer. With every purchase of specially marked copies of Guitar Hero® 5 during the month of September, living room legends will be able to rock out with an advance copy of the unreleased Guitar Hero® Van Halen® (up to a $60 MSRP value), long before it takes the stage in stores.
Rock out to over 130 on-disc tracks in two games on September 1 by pre-ordering Guitar Hero 5 now at your local retailer or at http://gh5.guitarhero.com/preorder.php and picking up your copy in September, or by buying specially marked copies of the game at any retailer anytime during the month of September, and take advantage of this limited time offer.
Please visit www.guitarhero.com/vanhalengameoffer for full offer and redemption details.