The current status of Lips Edit
I've been a fan of the Lips series since its launch in 2007. I live in Mexico, and ever since the first game's introduction I was thrilled to see Microsoft attempted to broad its target audience by making several localized discs available worldwide. The game was definitely lots of fun and I especially liked that half the songs were in spanish. I also enjoyed the fact that the game had downloadable content, since I thought I would never ran out of songs due to the weekly releases.
The first game had lots of issues. It was possible to get the maximum scores by simply blowing onto the wireless microphone, there weren't any leaderboards and it was very hard to get the performance and party medals without looking for advice online; almost as if it the game was rushed just to hit a Christmas release. It's okay, the community still loved the game and things were looking up, since "a patch was eventually coming".
And so, 5 months later, the Power Pack DLC made its debut. It fixed most of the things that were plain wrong with the game but the DLC store was still broken. People reported problems such as songs disappearing, extremely bad feedback coming from the mics and slow navigation in menus. Did iNiS or Microsoft felt like solving this? Nope.
Lips seemed like a foster child. The series had a main site (www.lips.com) that had "official forums" but were never really used by anybody. The HTML code was even broken and they were never consistent with their DLC updates, sometimes the community was notified in advance of the monthly releases and at other times we had to go web-hunting just to find a DLC in an obscure german site. This is not how a product like this is supposed to be released. The key to a game that relies on DLC is to keep communication between the company and its customers open, with a community manager constantly intervening.
Then came Number One Hits and the other discs we all loved. These brought new hope (and a lot of new customers!) to the game since almost all issues were gone. Sure, there are slowdowns at times, but they were pretty much better games than the first batch of discs that were released worldwide. This game greatly improved on the party experience but brought another nightmare to the table: disc-swapping.
How hard is it to please your community? SingStar solves this by eventually making playlists from its games available as DLC. It appears Lips is trying that business model with I Love The 80s, but I'd rather have my songs from the first game back as DLC, because as it stands right now, it takes me literally almost 2 minutes to play a 3 minute song, having to swap the disc back and forth because of the game engine used in the first Lips.
So what happens now? I Love The 80s, as a disc, was only released in UK and sold around 9,000 copies (this is an estimate by myself using the game's leaderboards before songs were made available as DLC in the US). There have been disc releases in german and spanish and less than 10 DLC songs are available for download in those languages. What's the point? I find it hard to see where this series is going.
The obvious answer would be a Kinect Lips, which would obviously mimic its older sibling, SingStar, in terms of bringing dancing over to the party experience. Even if they DID use the Lips brand to bring over a new experience using Kinect, would they make previous DLC available for singing? Would they attempt to fix disc-swapping? Would they re-release old songs as DLC (and by old I mean all disc playlists as DLC) so that people would be pleased? Would they try to keep an updated site with proper song information? Would they attempt to make a proper community by letting users upload their content to their website? As it stands right now, there's no way Lips could match this: www.singstar.com
A thank youEdit
I was one of the first people in Wikipedia to start updating the DLC lists of the game in a weekly basis, I enjoyed doing it and I saw several people were also interested in having an up-to-date list to see the game's DLC catalogue. To be honest, this is also iNiS's responsibility, but as explained above, the community never really felt in contact with iNis or Microsoft. I was also a frequent poster at the official Lips Xbox Forums. I enjoyed my time there and telling people the current month's DLC and other interesting news.
I made the wiki in an attempt to unify the community and to provide updated news of the series that made me love singing games, but I don't have the time to update it anymore. I attempted to make an article per song so that everyone could know the score thresholds to promote competitions, but the amount of work required is huge and there are not a lot of regular contributors.
I will keep updating the Main Page with DLC released (that is, if they even release any more DLC) but my updates will be scarce.
This is not a farewell but rather, a 'thank you' to all of you who have ever visited this wiki. We are the ones keeping Lips alive with our DLC purchases. Let's see what the future brings.
Portalbox 21:47, February 13, 2011 (UTC)