Ex-Yahoo COO fronts Guitar Hero division

Activision taps former Web portal exec Dan Rosensweig as new president, CEO of Red Octane.

There's no doubt that Activision's Guitar Hero series is big business. Exactly how big the rhythm-game franchise has become was put into some perspective today, when the publisher announced former Yahoo chief operating officer Dan Rosensweig as the new CEO and president of its Guitar Hero division, RedOctane.

New RedOctane honcho Dan Rosensweig

Rosensweig replaces RedOctane cofounder Kai Huang in both roles. Huang will remain with RedOctane, but will work under Rosensweig.

"Under the leadership of Kai and Charles, Guitar Hero established the music-gaming genre and became a global phenomenon," Activision Publishing president and CEO Mike Griffith said in a statement. "With the addition of Dan's proven operational expertise and leadership, we will continue expanding the franchise's global footprint in new and innovative ways. Dan's deep understanding of how consumers can be entertained online will be invaluable as we continue to build Guitar Hero's complementary growth channels, further establish the franchise as an innovative music platform, and develop relationships with new business partners."

Huang, along with his brother Charles, established RedOctane as an online game-rental service in 1999. The company quickly moved into selling peripherals for games such as Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series, and began publishing its own games with 2005's DDR-like PlayStation 2 game In the Groove. In November of that year, the publisher released the original Guitar Hero on the PlayStation 2. Seven months later, RedOctane was acquired by Activision for $100 million. The investment proved sound, given that Guitar Hero grew to be a billion-dollar franchise in less than two years.

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Discussion

17 comments
Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Exactly Murrdox!! I wonder what fool on Activision whoever came up with the idea of taking away what ever stood out from Guitar Hero (guitar only, lose hopo window, real challenging charts) and make it a cheap copy of Rock Band? That idiot need to get his ass kicked so bad I could cry... (I bet the bad sales and relative lack of following for GHWT probably already had him have it anyway... (thank god)). And what's up with this band thing anyway? Who fills up their whole living room with drum kits and stuff? Who has three friends standing by to come over and play every now and then? I tell you: no one. And the online modes of GHWT just proves it -- no bands are ever out there for face-offs or anything.... it's all just a BIG failure. Can we haz a GH3 styled game as the next release please?

Murrdox
Murrdox

I agree with you guys that Guitar Hero's best formula for success right now is to cater to the hardcore guitar playing fans, and keep Guitar Hero as a blistering hard Guitar game. It will help differentiate it from Rock Band, and appeal to hardcore fans more.

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

I agree with Ozzie234. The band-themed games do a lot for sales of albums by the bands, but they're really just for the fans, and I'm not big on the lower song volume for the same price of full-fledged sequels. As long as the fans are happy, though, I guess it'll keep up.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Why not a Slipknot edition? lol. But what Activition REALLY needs to do, is totally ditch this BAND thing and go back to Guitar only games. They can keep World Tour going as an amusement for all noobs and emos out there....

scja25
scja25

They need to make Guitar Hero: Slipknot That would be the BEST guitar hero game ever.

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

cmon we need metal people need to have their faces melted!

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

prepare to have no METAL at all ever in guitar hero again!

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Gh1 and 2 was great on the ps2. But Gh2 on Xbox was even better, with the additional in-game songs and DLC. Then entered Gh3 -- in retrospect the best Guitar Hero game, with the best engine released to this day!! (allows for super hard songs + the somewhat lose hopo window is more like playing hopos on a guitar for real). Why did Activision/Neversoft go this (rock) band sh*t GHWT thingy????? Let the real forthcoming Gh4 be a continuation from Gh3!! Guitar Hero should be a GUITAR game. And a hard as hell one on expert level. You know -- real oldschool. The way we like it. :)

maverick_76
maverick_76

I could run that company! A trained chimp could run that company!

okassar
okassar

This helped with Activision's stock,if you're curious I bought 200 shares at 8 dollars a share:) It's still a good time to buy their stock though, they're still only at 10.45 and it deserves 25 dollars per share(if you take a look at their profit,there are some ratios you can draw to come to that conclusion).

ckat609
ckat609

This franchise is turning into an EA style, squeeze every penny out of you-give you crap franchise. I just hope they don't take it as far as EA has done with their franchises.

gnbfd
gnbfd

unless he stops the milking then screw him. I won't buy GH5 unless the setlist is just amazing (WAY too many crap songs in WT), the vocals are fixed, and they fix the character models/animations.

impl0sion
impl0sion

I just have to say, Rosenwig is an awsome name.

gamekingsz
gamekingsz

which shoult i buy world tour or the metelicca i just want some fun with some rock all kinda types whats metelica anyway

Murrdox
Murrdox

Unfortunately RedOctane's strength isn't in it's game development. It's in its peripherals. No one would argue that the success of Guitar Hero was initially because the Guitar Hero controller itself was such a new, fresh, and well-designed idea. However, the Guitar controller is done. Now it's about gameplay. Unfortunately for RedOctane, Harmonix designed the Guitar Hero GAME, and has now gone on to create Rock Band. Harmonix have proved themselves (in my opinion) the better game designers. RedOctane is trying to keep Guitar Hero alive, but right now Guitar Hero is like a patient who lost an arm. Can an executive from Yahoo change that? I'm not sure.

Sambone757
Sambone757

Guitar Hero is getting milked :( Hopefully this dewda can help reverse that.

wiifan001
wiifan001

Strangely I forsee a decline of the Guitar Hero franchise under his leadership, both in quality and sales quantity. :(