Posts Tagged ‘business’


R.I.P. Guitar Hero 2005-2011

February 9, 2011

Image from MTV Multiplayer

“At the same time, due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011…. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.” – from Activision’s recent financial statement,  2/9/2011

So it’s the end of an era. I’ll admit that when it comes to music games I’m more of a fan of Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution, but Guitar Hero was the franchise that really blew up the music game genre in the West after years of trying by Konami and I respect that. While Rock Band catered more to the “music” side of “music games,” Guitar Hero was definitely on the “game” side and filled a real demand in the market. It represented the potential of the genre for straight up fantasy and with Warriors of Rock I thought it was beginning to find its voice. It’s a shame.

My sympathies go out to all the people affected by this announcement, especially the developers and their families, as well as all the business and support personnel who are stressing right now since their jobs are likely tied into making that franchise operate. If you look further into the financial statement and go into the “Business Highlights” section, you’ll notice only two franchises in bold: Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. In my opinion, that’s just bad business.

So here’s to you, Guitar Hero. You weren’t the first music game, you weren’t the first rock game, and you weren’t the first to use guitar controllers, but you made music games mainstream in America and we’re worse for your departure.

You can learn more about the announcement at Eurogamer, Kotaku, Joystiq, Rock Band Aide, and the Los Angeles Times.