E3 06: Activision buys RedOctane

Publisher picks up Guitar Hero developer, hints at bringing the series online and to other platforms.

LOS ANGELES--Activision today announced that it will acquire RedOctane, publisher of last year's PlayStation 2 surprise hit Guitar Hero. The publisher said that the acquisition will give it "an early leadership position in music-based gaming, which the company expects to be one of the fastest growing genres in the coming years."

While details on new Guitar Hero projects weren't given, Activision director and strategic adviser Ron Doornik's explanation for what the publisher can get out of RedOctane leaves little to the imagination.

"The success we are seeing today is a strong indicator that Guitar Hero and the many potential extensions, new platform exploitations and international versions appear to be somewhat transition proof, as consumers are responding to this product on current-generation platforms in a manner that defies traditional late-cycle behavior," Doornik said. "We think the online capabilities of the next-generation platforms offer new and well differentiated opportunities to create additional revenues from downloadable music, which today represents one of the most popular downloadable content categories."

As part of the deal, RedOctane management and key employees will be signing long-term contracts with Activision. Financial terms were not disclosed. Activision expects to have the deal closed sometime during its current fiscal quarter (which runs through June), but doesn't expect the move to have a material impact on its earnings for the full fiscal year.

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37 comments
the_dark_side
the_dark_side

Oh great, there goes the GH series... Almost all of the Activison games suck on graphics, gameplay, blah blah blah dammit dammit dammit they better not mess up GH2

Flimsyfishy
Flimsyfishy

you do know that with activision buying redoctane, the people who made redoctane get a lot of cash... with that being said, i believe they will still make perhiperals, but they will more than likely stick with the guitar hero series, because the first one was such a huge hit. hopefully they will have versions for the other 2 console companies out there.

djHaQ
djHaQ

So... Guitar Hero II will have... better graphics?

lvlUNE3B
lvlUNE3B

Activision thinks before appearing in media

KiLLer_ba
KiLLer_ba

It'll be cool if they take the GH series to next gen consoles

saltylovesF
saltylovesF

This is great! I want wireless guitars and dowloadable content!

RazMasters
RazMasters

Damn. I'm with those who are depressed about this. How very "rock 'n' roll" of RedOctane to sell out to a company like Activision, who's all about the in-game promotions and general crap. Outside of "Tony Hawk", which is great (but not original), what do they have? "True Crime: New York City"? Yeah. That's... that's pretty awesome. RedOctane started as an independent group of gamers making peripherals for fellow gamers. Their stuff was quality, the work of people truly into their craft. "Guitar Hero" was a successful venture... one that didn't put them in danger of going under, but quite the opposite. It was a masterpiece. Inspiration for all the independent video game developers with genuine talent who hope to, someday, hit it big. And now this? Why, RedOctane? Why? Did the promise of security and funding make you forget your own mottos? Is that what it was? The same thing that, ironically, made so many rock stars sell out to big labels and completely change their music? Well, as far as indie developers are concerned, at least there's still Xbox Live Arcade...

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Ah... well Activision made a brilliant move there.

Devilwillcry
Devilwillcry

lets hope the third game is a PS3 exclusive

jibbityhibbity
jibbityhibbity

Drum Hero for the Wii would be cool. Remember the original demonstration video for the controller and the guy using two of them to play drums?

SamQur
SamQur

Woah! This ought to be good!

slow-pc
slow-pc

Nice , since red octane will continue to design the series and activision will help move it out there... heres hoping for some cross system GH

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Cool! Now we'll have one for 360 and wiiiiiiiiii

foofightersrule
foofightersrule

Well I'm just hoping they dont ruin it, because guitar hero was an amazing game

Jimbokundesu
Jimbokundesu

are there ANY small, indepenent developers any more? and what's going to happen to their peripherals business after this?

cobracomander13
cobracomander13

Hmmmm.... sounds like none of you actuly played guitar hero, the game isn't about graphics and such, so getting excited over a next gen version is kinda silly, i'm a little sad, red octain has been the leader in bad ass third party parifrils (sp?) for music games, and made two of the best rythem based games ever, in the groove and guitar hero (well harmonix made it but you know what i mean) but now it is getting sucked in to activision. i hate game snobs, and i know i kinda sound like one right now but still. i liked my free little company.

soul_motor
soul_motor

Maybe I could use my real guitar, an eye toy type peripheral, and my Wii!!

starfoxmcleoud
starfoxmcleoud

noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! If Activison brings them down i'm gonna shoot myself in the head. Does this mean that future Ignition dance mats are going to have some crappy Activison stuff on it?

TimT
TimT

I want Guitar Hero X360. POINTS!!!!

trifecta_basic
trifecta_basic

they'll ruin the series like Tony Hawk. It would never work online due to lag.

xbx4ever
xbx4ever

I would love to see it go multi-platform, I hate third party titles that are exclusives, I'm talking to you Metal Gear!

Jackov
Jackov

Holy crap! Activision is on a roll. First, a major franchise. Now, an innovative developer.

bryehngeocef
bryehngeocef

awesome! so glad it wasn't sony that bought them :D

Death1234567890
Death1234567890

If activision owns them and they will make games for the Wii then.......

njsykora
njsykora

Hopefully this'll mean the song list gets a bit more diverse.

akilshohen
akilshohen

according to a e-mail some people are getting from red octane, it's coming to 360.

savagegr
savagegr

is great that they will bring that game to the others platform. is really good. rock and roll baby!

kcarlson1130
kcarlson1130

now that activsion has it. i think i could hit all the systems.

DELTAsnake
DELTAsnake

Great, I would love to have a wireless guitar, playing it on my 360, in 5.1 surround.

mkeelahi
mkeelahi

That means more games from Activision. Weeeeeeeee

faridmon
faridmon

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

faridmon
faridmon

first time to be the first, is activision buying anything that sells well, but i guess it will be great if they bring this game to nintendo wii. ROCK ON.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

cool - heard so many great things about the game. Would love to see an Xbox 360 or PS3 version.