Guitar Hero: Van Halen officially official

Activision's Will Kassoy confirms long-rumored next band-centric installment of series will arrive in second half of year; Queen, Weezer, Blink 182, The Offspring, and Queens of the Stone Age also on setlist.

Activision has finally made official what has been widely rumored for over a year. The next band-based Guitar Hero game will focus on Van Halen, the legendary hard-rock quartet anchored by guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his drummer brother Alex. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the group topped the charts under two different lead singers, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. (Sorry, Gary Cherone.)

Coming soon to a console near you.

"You've heard about this, maybe some rumors, but I am here to officially announce the title, which is coming out in the second half of this year," senior vice president of Guitar Hero publishing Will Kassoy told a press event in Los Angeles this week. No platforms were mentioned, but prior band-centric Guitar Hero games have been released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Wii.

Though he did not name any specific songs, Kassoy promised that Guitar Hero: Van Halen would feature "many of the band's greatest hits." Such multiplatinum tracks as "Jump," "Panama," "Hot for Teacher," and "Why Can't This Be Love" helped the group sell more than 56 million albums in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen will feature a plethora of other acts that inspired the quartet, including 1970s-'80s British supergroup Queen. Kassoy said that it will also feature artists inspired by Van Halen--many of which have members who weren't even born when the band was formed in 1972. These include Weezer, Blink 182, The Offspring, and Queens of the Stone Age, "amongst many, many others," said Kassoy.

The executive went on to explain Activision's big-picture approach to band-focused Guitar Hero games. "Our previous two artist [focused] titles, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero: Metallica, have done really well in the marketplace," said Kassoy. "But it's our desire to go beyond just individual band games, and to complement that with artists the bands are really inspired by and that they themselves select to be in this game. The same is true of Van Halen."

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