The music genre of video games has seen a massive drop off in sales, with the most recent NPD data showing a decline of 46 percent from this time last year. But there are some silver linings.

First of all, the genre is still the third-largest selling game genre out there, and secondly, the release of Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band should give the genre a much-needed bump.

If you have a music game in the pipeline, there are a couple of tips to extrapolate from the glut of music genre stories from the past few months:

–    Stop with the instruments; they re already in people s homes, and they take up valuable real estate at retailers
–    Lead with your innovations; with Guitar Hero 5, they went with the amount of songs on the disc; with The Beatles: Rock Band, well, it s The Beatles; there are still lots of music genres that haven t been tapped yet, from funk to hip-hop and country

And, most importantly, be genuine when connecting with fans of the music in your game. Nothing’s worse than someone who wouldn’t throw a flag when seeing Kurt Cobain rapping through a non-Nirvana song — well, there s something worse, and that’s when the remaining band members start trashing your brand.