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+--Forum: PIU - General
+---Topic: Was K-Pop Going Mainstream a Bad Thing for Pump? started by Nico
Posted by: Nico on 00:37 CST :: 4/16/2019
So, right now on the Billboard Hot 100, we’ve got Blackpink debuting at #41 with their new single “Kill This Love”, with BTS coming next week with a likely top 10 debut for their crossover single “Boy With Luv”, possibly even top 5. Attentive Pump fans will remember that Blackpink was supposed to appear in Prime 2’s second phase with their song As If It’s Your Last, but that never came to fruition. Subsequently with XX’s launch, the series lost almost every K-Pop it had left, keeping only two Novasonic perennials, Dreamcatcher, and some (not even all) of the released second phase licenses. It’s not a stretch to suggest that the increasing worldwide popularity of K-Pop has been driving up demand to the point that Andamiro can’t afford to keep ahold of licenses like they used to.
We’ve even seen the Blackpink scenario in the past thanks to the unwitting harbinger of this entire chain of events: Psy. Before Gangnam Style tore through the world, Andamiro confirmed that Psy’s Right Now would be a launch song on Fiesta 2. However, because of the aforementioned popularity, they ended up having to renege.
I suppose the question now stands: how do we feel about this? Personally, I’ve felt that one of Pump’s fascinating traits was to pick at the Korean music scene at different points of time and summarize it in essence with the license choices, and what they were able to keep around served as a kind of time capsule into both the scene and the game’s history, as many of the songs ended up becoming iconic parts of Pump itself. “Funky Tonight”, “Don’t Bother Me”, “Dignity”, tracks like these feel so interconnected with Pump and it still stings how we’ve lost them over the past few mixes. Feel free to sound off, this forum could use some more activity.
Posted by: RaúlCamOv on 11:39 CST :: 4/16/2019
Indeed, it is a bad thing. It is no longer the 2000s where K-Pop was barely known outside of Korea. With the genre as a whole going mainstream so does the artist's value, and of course, the licencing fees.
On the other hand, look at what part of K-Pop is the one which went mainstream: Boy and Girl acts. They became so big to the point casual people no longer stand them (similar to Reggeaton/Trap artists here in LatAm) and seeing them on PIU nowadays is like "oh shoot they're here too? Damn" from newbs. So, in a sense, the fact that the number of K-Pop in XX is at the lowest point in years may not be a bad thing at all (XX currently has 228 Original Songs, 41 Pops, 31 crossovered songs, 21 J-songs, and only 20 K-pop songs, yeah, TWENTY).
Looks like Pump being all about K-Pop is a thing of the past. Ironically they actually "addressed" one of the primary complaints from players nowadays: "There is too much K-Pop in Pump", which was never true.
Happy 20th anniversary, Pump It Up.
Posted by: ohnoitschris on 00:43 CST :: 5/27/2019
When Gangnam Style blew up, I was really hoping it would help Pump catch on, and Andamiro could use the newfound popularity of K-Pop as free marketing. "Hey, come play this game that's already all over the place in America that you've probably walked past without paying a second thought because it's not DDR!" I'd think that could work, but Andamiro never really did that. Even today in the social media age, Pump it Up isn't a household name, and I've outright told people before that I just own a DDR machine, simply because explaining what Pump is and why I'd own that instead of DDR isn't anything they'd care about anyway.
And speaking of Psy, I'm surprised Right Now got far enough to be announced as an upcoming song. They must finalize their deals at the last minute to have missed out on the pre-Gangnam Style price.
The cost of licensing K-Pop has certainly hurt Pump, but then again, it doesn't seem like they're looking to license much of a variety anyway. We're just not seeing the kind of variety today like we did in the MK3 mixes, with the assortment of rock and hiphop thrown into the mix. That kind of music isn't really conducive to a dance game, but it did help give Pump it Up its identity and set it apart from Dance Dance Revolution. Rock music isn't so mainstream anymore, so surely there are some K-Rock artists out there who'd be thrilled to get a little bit of cash and see their music in Pump, right? Why not hop on Soundcloud and throw a few bands some cash for some variety? That's on whomever chooses the music.
But in the grand scheme of things, I think K-Pop's newfound worldwide popularity is great for music as a whole. Not gonna lie, I wasn't exactly a fan of the 00's in terms of music. I worked a job in 2007 where I had to listen to a top 40's radio station all day, and here's what they played:
Rihanna - Umbrella
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - Crank Dat (Soujla Boy)
Nickelback - Rockstar
Kanye West - Stronger
I've been cautiously happy with the direction Pump's been going this decade, though I'm starting to hope the series begins to return to its roots. It's full of "music game songs" these days. What's a "music game song"? For lack of a better term, it's... you know, the kind of song you hear and you say "Yeah, that sounds like it's from a music game". The kind of song that could fit in not just PiU, but DJ Max, Voez, Jubeat, Beatmania IIDX, O2Jam, you name it - while not really fitting anywhere else.
MAX - Hypercube (Pump it Up Prime)
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeziEuZfPFU >
Urbatronic Chopsticks - Play the Future (DJ Max Portable: Black Square)
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i490ETHbUQ8 >
DJ Yoshitaka - Flower (jubeat knit Append & Reflec Beat)
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K6OnRqo4og >
I'm not implying it's bad, of course, since music taste is subjective and I frankly really like that kind of music, but I can't help but feel that it creates a sense of homogeny. Trying to describe the songlist of most music games today is a little difficult. I'd just fall back to "well, it's the usual suspects, exactly what you'd expect, if you liked the game before it you'll probably like this one too". No surprises, nothing earth-shattering, just the kind of thing you'd expect from a new entry of a game you've played thousands of times. Depending on your perspective, it's either comfortable or stale, so it's not a bad thing if that's what the audience wants. PiU's K-Pop licenses do stand out, since PiU is clearly higher budget than most music games of its ilk, but even they can feel homogeneous to someone who's been playing for years (i.e. ALL of us).
So, aside from licensing issues, I don't think K-Pop's newfound popularity has really affected Pump that much. I think we can all agree that it's always irritating when songs in any yearly music game only stick around for one mix, and that's the kinda thing that comes with especially expensive licenses.
Come to think of it, I forgot to play Me Gustas Tu when we had Prime 2.