Published August 28, 2008
NEW YORK – For Christians who've always wanted to dabble in "Guitar Hero," but can't bear riffing to songs like "Cheat on the Church," "Cowboys From Hell" or "The Number of the Beast," finally, there's a video game for you.
Next month, video-game developer Digital Praise releases "Guitar Praise," a wireless guitar game that promises "inspirational fun" as players jam to 52 hits by the likes of contemporary Christian musicians TobyMac, Newsboys and Skillet.
Tom Bean, the president and CEO of Digital Praise, told FOXNews.com that "Guitar Praise" was created in response to its gaming fans.
They "started e-mailing us and writing us and calling us and asking us to create a game that they could play along with using a guitar," he said.
Like "Guitar Hero," the game requires players to hit the correct notes as the songs play, but unlike Activision's popular Xbox, Wii and PlayStation 2 and 3 game, "Guitar Praise" is strictly a Mac or PC affair and players can jam along with the band.
Set for release on Sept. 25, with a price tag of $99.95, "Guitar Praise" isn't cheap. But developers see it as a game perfect for the masses.
"We see it as another fun way for kids to spend time together and have a positive experience with positive content," Bean said, adding it works well for youth groups, who can sing along as two players face off in the game.
There's no doubt that musical role-play has carved out a large chunk of the gaming market. This year, "Guitar Hero" surpassed $1 billion in North American retail sales, according to its producer, Activision.
This isn't the first religious knockoff Digital Praise has produced. In 2005, it released "Dance Praise," a "Dance Dance Revolution"-style game that lets players boogie to their favorite Christian hits. "Dance Praise 2 — The ReMix" has thus far been the company's top-selling product, Bean said.
"We’ve attempted to be careful and respect other people’s products and create games of a similar genre but solely created with our programs and programmers," Bean said.
The game will be available next month at GuitarPraise.com as well as at Christian retailers.
A representative from Activision did not immediately return a call for comment.