Guitar Hero franchise not over

Activision confirms future plans to return to once-mighty rhythm-game franchise, status of possible 2012 game in question.

Activision's Guitar Hero franchise has been down for several years, and it appeared earlier in February as if the publisher had at last counted it out. As part of an across-the-board culling that also impacted the Tony Hawk and True Crime franchises, Activision officially closed its Guitar Hero business unit, canceling the franchise's 2011 installment and leaving analysts speculating as to whether the series would ever rock again.

Reunion tours are a well-established rock-and-roll tradition.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz today, Activision VP of developer relations and acquisitions Dan Winters clarified his company's current stance on the Guitar Hero franchise, saying that the publisher isn't counting out a reunion tour.

"Actually, just to clarify, we're just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus; we're not ending it," Winters said. "We're releasing products out of the vault. We'll continue to sustain the channel; the brand won't go away. We're just not making a new one for next year; that's all."

Activision has previously stated that it does not intend to release a new installment in the Guitar Hero franchise in 2011, and it was not immediately clear whether Winters' statement also ruled out a new installment in 2012. Activision had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

The publisher's current strategy for the Guitar Hero franchise is a dramatic departure from its late 2000s heyday. Beyond its core offering, Activision began releasing a number of spin-off installments in the series, including band-centric efforts dedicated to Aerosmith and Metallica, family-friendly titles like Band Hero, pop-focused fare like Smash Hits, and portable wares like Guitar Hero on Tour.

The expansion was largely fueled by the phenomenal success of Guitar Hero III, which was released in 2007. In addition to single-handedly earning more than $1 billion worldwide, Guitar Hero III has been recognized by The NPD Group as the best-selling title in the US by revenue.

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Discussion

184 comments
neosantana
neosantana

Guitar Hero remains one of the most successful franchises ever. you know why? BECAUSE PEOPLE LOVE AND BUY THEM Guitar Hero went the same path as anything music related, specifically musicians, they sold out to make it more "Family Friendly" and plushy cute. F*** that, We need a GH: METAL, with uncut/unedited lyrics and a brutal soundtrack, they need a Death Magnetic comeback, or if you will a Painkiller return.

neosantana
neosantana

Guitar Hero remains one of the most successful franchises ever. you know why? BECAUSE PEOPLE LOVE AND BUY THEM Guitar Hero went the same path as anything music related, specifically musicians, they sold out to make it more "Family Friendly" and plushy cute. F*** that, We need a GH: METAL, with uncut/unedited lyrics and a brutal soundtrack, they need a Death Magnetic comeback, or if you will a Painkiller return.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Why are there still so many haters? I still play Guitar Hero from time to time cause it's fun, so I guess it did it's job. I can only hope for some more metal oriented Guitar Heros

xNinjaKingx
xNinjaKingx

@Sgthombre truer words have never been spoken

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

"Back from the dead, a****les!" -Boba Fett

pukmok
pukmok

Of course they're not going to get rid of Guitar Hero. I'm glad they're slowing down though. Any game that releases one after the other loses quality and gets watered down. *cough* Call of Duty *cough*

djjenkins12
djjenkins12

This is just a business strategy to sell their stocked GH games, you know activision and their "business". Trust me, when they sold almost all of the stocks their going to make a new one.

SamDC1991
SamDC1991

The only way that GH can continue is by releasing one every 2/3 years or so, and possibly make a GH: Faith No More game which would be great as the band is highly underrated, and stop putting Muse on the track list and they irritate me it's a shame that they've been put on nearly all of them since GH3 and much better bands have gone unnoticed Cancer Bats would be a great addition :)

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Activision aren't going to let something trivial like noone wanting a new Guitar Hero stop them! They are going to squeeze out another fresh chunk of cash in and it'll probably have Journey on it!

starfox15
starfox15

I think I'll stick with my RB downloadable songs. As much as I used to enjoy Guitar Hero, RB is a better game and I'll continue to support them if they continue to bring out more DLC songs.

blakeney
blakeney

@yankblan With programs like Celemony's "Melodyne" about, i think it would be pretty easy for them to add that feature, it wouldnt even need any kind of song data base to "know" what chords to put up. They wont ever add it though, theres too much ego-buisness/money-politics involved in the "playlist".

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Nothing wrong with new Guitar Hero games - JUST games, and NOT a new peripheral every two seconds. Even better support for more downloadable tracks at a fair price to add to it would be better too. It's when they made a tiny change to the guitar or other instrument and then expected everyone to fork out for it each 6-9 months that it just took the p**s.

toptom924
toptom924

I thought WOR finished it amazingly I loved the quest mode

NickyWithATicky
NickyWithATicky

As long as it's rock/metal/punk based I don't mind, just please no pop or indie. Pop-punk's fine but I don't want another GH5 - it was so bad I got it free with the sixth one and didn't realise.

yankblan
yankblan

Maybe they should try to create a software that would let you import songs that you like and convert it to GH format; god knows I would enjoy playing hundreds of Bad Religion songs...

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

they probably did it for publicity...say that they will not make any new games, so everyone gets thinking about how much they will miss the series...and then announce they actually are going to release more...that makes everyone relieved and happy so everyone buys the game. ??? or am i wrong? anyway i suppose its good news for fans of the series...

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

Activision, instead of saying you're putting it on Hiatus.......why don't you say youre gonna take a breather and release one in a few years instead of milking it dry and releasing one every year? Christ on a bike.......Or is it because you can't think of a brand new original IP with all the COD milk money youve made, so need to go back to GH? yeah I thought so....

blackace
blackace

It's for me. lol!! I won't be buying anymore GH or RB games in the future. I'll give Dance Central another shot though.

MNBeta03
MNBeta03

"oneligas Posted Apr 13, 2011 2:45 pm GMT i will bet they will add some Kinect/Move functionality in the next one" Mind-bottling statement... it bottles the mind!

oneligas
oneligas

i will bet they will add some Kinect/Move functionality in the next one

orb_03_2006
orb_03_2006

This is a smart move. Just let it die down for a GOOD long while, then release an awesome game.

josephreynii
josephreynii

Ok peeps....Guitar Hero 3 was the no 1 selling title in the US. I'm no Activision fan, and I don't play Guitar Hero, but maybe this is a franchise worth saving. Sounds like the publisher just made some bad choices. It sounds like what everyone is complaining about is limited variety and the amount of games that Activision pooed onto Guitar Hero fans. I can see that, but that can be fixed. If a good developer gets hold of it and a new version is released only every few years, I don’t see who it’s hurting. I remember playing Guitar Hero 3 with friends at parties and stuff and thought it was a decent time. If a varied track list is implemented with several genres of music it will appeal to a wide user base and get back to what it should be. No more Guitar Hero Garth Brooks….Now, I’m not saying that I’m a fan of seeing a franchise being released every year, but Guitar Hero and Rock Band and those like it are an investment. You have the controllers and whatnots. I know people that play Guitar Hero may be disappointed with where the franchise has gone, but Activision got the message in this case. Let’s see where the franchise goes in the future before all those poor plastic guitars wind up in a landfill.

AgentRebecca
AgentRebecca

i love music and im a metalhead, but music games are very overrated...

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

Guitar Hero is dead, man! I think Ubisoft's upcoming guitar game where you can use real instruments is a great idea.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

For Christ's sake, Activision! You told us that you killed off the franchise a few months ago, and now you're telling us the opposite?! Are your collective heads screwed on properly?

pH347m3
pH347m3

Well, I was really happy there for a moment because I thought that Guitar Hero actually was dead. Guess Activision is greedier than I thought it was.

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

Activision need more time to decide on a new hammer-on/pull-off timing window and graphics scheme. That seems to be all that they've done to the series since World Tour.

grigjd3
grigjd3

In other news, Activision realizes it's only IPs with any value left all end with the syllable -craft.

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

oh look, they finally realised pumping out 4 versions of the same game every year will burn people out on a franchise shame their greed always means that they dont realise this until after people are already burned out i would be fine with a guitar hero every 2 or 3 years, provided they do something new each time, but the amount they were releasing previously was just ridiculous

thegamegod
thegamegod

im gonna miss the next installment,i always enjoyed GH,and seen as i didnt download any of the dlc,i normally bought the new instalments, but if they manage to reboot the series after a years break,ill be happy for that too.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

Let it die peacefully Activision...

coop36
coop36

god activision just let it go.. let it go.

fpShorty
fpShorty

I will curb-stomp you GH...

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

I think they need to bury this game right next to the secret stash of ET atari games.

Irikron
Irikron

They'll come back. They ALL come back!

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

Hello is this originality? Hi I'm calling on behalf of Activision to tell you we wont be needing your services anymore......

emperiox
emperiox

@ChaoticBronco They should make a guitar hero that doesn't suck! I played it one time, and even on "easy" it's difficult to not miss notes...

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

Shoot it before it could get back up!

ChaoticBronco
ChaoticBronco

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

Just let it die, and kill Call of Duty while you're at it.

kinstar2002
kinstar2002

Its nice to know GH isnt coming out next year with a new game. If I stop playing guitar hero or RB for that matter for the next 5 years. I might be exicted for it! Nah im jp.I hope GH just R.I.P

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

Well then, I guess that explains the newly-released DLC...

LiqMD
LiqMD

Please die GH . . . Please.

Private_Pow
Private_Pow

IMO this is good, I really enjoy GH.