Guitar Hero head leaving Activision

Ex-Yahoo exec Dan Rosensweig departs "to pursue other career opportunities" after less than a year on the job.

Last March, Activision made a splash by hiring former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig to serve as president and CEO of Guitar Hero developer RedOctane. Today the publisher announced that Rosensweig's term of service with the company has ended, with the executive moving on "to pursue other career opportunities."

Rosensweig led the Guitar Hero division during an industry-wide rhythm genre slump.

Rosensweig took the helm of the Guitar Hero business as the music genre was beginning a precipitous decline. Despite a flood of releases, including Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, Band Hero, Rock Band: The Beatles, and Lego Rock Band, rhythm game sales were barely half what they were the year before. According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, US retail revenues from rhythm games totaled $876 million in 2009, down more than 47 percent from $1.66 billion the year before.

The executive's stint with Activision may be best remembered for a September interview in which he claimed Guitar Hero 5 was outselling rival The Beatles: Rock Band 4-to-1 in the US. The following month when the industry-tracking NPD Group released its figures, The Beatles: Rock Band was the best-selling rhythm game with 595,000 copies sold, compared to Guitar Hero 5's sales of 499,000.

Rosensweig's role at Activision will be filled by David Haddad, currently the COO of the Guitar Hero business unit. Before joining Activision, Haddad served as COO of Vivendi Games' Sierra Online division.

As for what other opportunities Rosensweig is pursuing, the executive is the new president and CEO of Chegg.com, an online textbook rental company. Looking to capitalize on frugal students who don't want to shell out for expensive course materials, the service lets users rent books by the semester or the quarter.

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Discussion

73 comments
GNWPCD
GNWPCD

And in other news.. Joe Blow gets new position in X Company.. as I P Freely moves in to take it over. Yeah ok? Bye and all. Ok so some guy we never heard of is leaving big company replaced by another guy we never heard of or care of? Sounds to me like he is jumping ship as the Guitar Hero genre fizzles out.

Triton
Triton

Good bye, don't care much. Good luck I guess. Slow news day...

guitardude1243
guitardude1243

I used Chegg.com this semester for my History and American Lit. classes, saved a good amount of money.

rhinoballz
rhinoballz

Having worked there, I know what a tough gig it is. Imagine the movie Open Water...

Simulator_Shock
Simulator_Shock

When I first read this I thought it said "Guitar Hero leaving Activision" which would have been great because they couldn't flood the market by shoveling out 6-7 games each year.

UnSeEn60
UnSeEn60

If he's anything like his predecessor, we'll still be swarmed by crappy rhythm games all year - no different than last year.

HBC14
HBC14

What this will mean for the GH serie?

Crazyguy105
Crazyguy105

@Strategygamer22 Rock Band 2 has DLC and it contains a whole Irom Maiden pack. :P But they only have one Slayer song.

Strategygamer22
Strategygamer22

I bought GH: Metallica and Smash Hits, but passed on all the others. I won't buy anymore unless they start incorporating harder songs (Slayer and Iron Maiden would be good choices).

thpghalo3
thpghalo3

thank god. maby we can FINIALLY get a good guitar hero instead of this crap of re skining GH4.

Frost259
Frost259

Bleh... sure they have been milking the games, but come on. The music games are just plain out boring now, there just the same thing over and over and over, and they charge the same way to high price for each game. The music genre is finally going down.

izmickey
izmickey

This guy looks like such a doucebag. I guess Kotick is hoping David Haddad can find a way to milk the franchise even more.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

Maybe more quality will deliver than quantity. I liked Guitar Hero 5 and Metallica but 5 could of been better.

green_dominator
green_dominator

@badman11226 LOL that and Activision's logo as well...... Actually most of the companies are guilty of milking their licenses but anything Activision is the worst for it, always has been too.....

badman11226
badman11226

I believe if you go in the dictionary and look up the word milking. I think you actually see the name guitar hero and this dude picture next to it.

DV2THEFOX
DV2THEFOX

i used to like GH until now...The Calibration system SUCKS on GH5 (there's no more testings like DJ Hero) and the GH5 n BH Sucked so hard their prices didnt dropped YET...Sorry AV,you wont get more money from me..go RB3

shinchy
shinchy

Lets not act like this guy is some great game designer or anything; he's a corporate scumbag trying to get every penny out of us.

Genexi2
Genexi2

See Activision? Even the head of Guitar Hero is bored of milking the franchise dry.

stevoqwerty
stevoqwerty

Well i can't even beat a song on beginner, better stick to my electric guitar where i can play blind folded.

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

spending 150$ for a plastic guitar game?? meh...... il buy i a acoustic guitar and make chix fall of their panties while im playing some love song for them.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

A wish his replacement would release a $50 disc that allowed people to collect all songs from all games onto your HDD that ran in the engine of your choice (main reason for $50), and then immediately retire. RB has played this far better. Continuously adding content via DLC without it being required or shoved in your face in any way is a rare courtesy to us players. Hell they've even created their studio feature and are offering it *free*. Was The Beatles slight milking? Meh, but I c'mon. It's The Beatles. Anyone so locked in a mindset of shredding = only enjoyment in a rhythm game shouldn't even be allowed to talk about something so sacred and created in such good faith.

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

guitar hero's are crap anyways... playing a real guitar is way better than throwing away your cash on useless guitar games

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

If they want it to sell well they should just release them with way more space in between. Activision has just been shoving these constant rhythm games at us expecting us to buy it. Sort of like kids and adults with candy.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Now, diversion is the main problem, and the only way to save the Guitar Hero franchise is to make all games from Guitar Hero: World Tour and on compatible for online play. Boot whatever disc of World Tour, Greatest Hits, GH5, Band Hero, and get to play all DLC including players from any game online. This will put the required oil in the machinery. Do it, Activision!

blackace
blackace

Both Guitar Hero and Rock Band are old news now. Activision release too many version in to short a time span and flooded the market with this games. Now most gamers are burned out on them. That's why sales are down. They are still selling well on the Wii, but PS3 and 360 versions sales are dropping like a rock now. Just look at Guitar Hero 5 sales. Activision should have just release DLC for these games for a year or two and then bring out a new version.

chrispicard
chrispicard

No more plastic guitars! i'm a video game geek, but you are the geeks of geeks! get a real game people! or play a real guitar!

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

The problem lies not within people having to pay 60 buck for the same game, they've been doing that since the DAWN of gaming. The problem lies within expectations of what to get from the consumers point of view. People joined the ride from Guitar Hero: WT with hesitation. They never cried out for a multi-instrument game (who joins four people in their living room for band play anyway?). Yet it came. They never wanted song casualisation & simpler charts. Yet it came. Activision should have taken GREAT CARE of the point of view of the core players. They were warned PLENTY as Guitar Hero:WT (and the forthgoing milking) came about.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

how the heck is rock band milked?? it has better songs than GH and just cuz they are smart enough to actually make a beatles rockband?? look at all the freakn guitar hero's imo the best one is the van halen one from looking at it but u can't even play any of hagars songs only roth's. I like rockband cuz it's fun and not owned by activision. and look at that new Rockband network coming out for it too. between that and the dlc they release all the time there's no way u can say they aren't giving more to their fans.

Desulated
Desulated

I'll bet he's happy to leave Activision. I wonder what Activision is going to make after DJ Hero dies...hmm... Dance Hero? Singing Hero? :lol:

rann89
rann89

Sucks for him. He probably got blamed for people getting tired of paying 60 bucks for the same game seven times. It's even worse because the people who got rid of him couldn't do any better.

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

I'm pretty tempted to say it's a good thing. Too many games is what made the genre slump. People were just getting over the quality and refinement that GH3 gave Guitar Hero. If they'd skipped World Tour and made it with all the features (hello, party mode) that GH5 had, it would've been a good jump in quality and refinement.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

He probably was blamed for the drop in sales. The truth is, yearly games usually reach market saturation and suffer from brand over-exposure, not to mention that the slight gameplay updates don't fool anyone with a keen eye. Also, Activision is not treating their fanbase with respect and consideration. Instead of allowing them to build up their library along the years, them don't allow old tracks or tracks from different Hero games to transfer to the new ones, or they charge them on top of the regular costs. That goes for MTV's Rock Band as well.

BetardxFoosier
BetardxFoosier

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

Little_Socrates
Little_Socrates

Thank goodness, this guy has no idea how to run the Guitar Hero franchise. Maybe the new guy will understand that eight games in A YEAR is too many. And maybe he'll learn that people aren't happy to just buy the same game with new songs anymore because ROCK BAND ALREADY RELEASES NEW SONGS EVERY WEEK. We need...I dunno, how about a genuine story mode? Or SOMETHING? Seriously, the only way I'm buying another Guitar Hero game without some new freaking gameplay is if they book Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin as an exclusive act.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Gamers are just getting burned out on the music games because there's no innovation. DJ Hero? No thanks! "Accordion Hero" can't be to far off now!!!

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

Sounds like there's some internal troubles at the GH studio. Maybe now they'll stop making them.

doshindude
doshindude

@Trogeton: That's not milking, that's quality support. Harmonix knows how to make games and put heart into them. Look at RB2 and all it's DLC support. It's been going strong for 2 years with over 1000 songs and playable all in one game.

spudster007
spudster007

I wouldn't want to work for that evil company either.

Trogeton
Trogeton

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

Bortson
Bortson

Heck Ill take a million dollar salary to rehash the same idea and flood the market then leave.

falcOWNS
falcOWNS

every guitar-related game after 3 was dumb....except metallica and aerosmith

luffy11234
luffy11234

to anyone out there, yeah guitar hero was good in my oppinion to around 3. By then i bought world tour but that was crap, also got 5 and that was o.k. The free van halen is just ok, i like van halen anyway. overall yeah the cash-cow is really begining to dry up now. onward to (insert new name)

Joshua250
Joshua250

I would get bored too; releasing the same game ad nauseam is...well nauseating! It's the same reason Infinity Ward is (finally) creating a different game for once.

dark_surge
dark_surge

The first few Guitar Hero games were fun at the time. And they'd be loved a lot more today if they were they only ones released. But then they pulled a Tony Hawk.