In February, Activision said it was throttling back on production of rhythm games for 2010, reducing the release slate to DJ Hero 2 and a single entry in the proper Guitar Hero line. Gamers might have assumed that latter effort would be Guitar Hero 6, but new product listings on GameStop and Amazon.com suggest otherwise.
According to the retailers, Activision's next foray into the music-game genre will be titled Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock when it is released on September 19. Both outfits have listed three SKUs for Warriors of Rock. They include a Standard version ($60 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii), a Guitar Bundle ($100 for each of the three systems), and a Super Bundle ($180 across the board).
Interestingly, the retailer listings suggest Activision has actually expanded its rhythm game plans from earlier this year. Activision Publishing president Michael Griffith told investors that 2010 would see fewer than 10 stock-keeping units (SKUs) in the Hero franchise, but the Warriors of Rock listings consist of nine SKUs on their own. Even if DJ Hero 2 is only available as a stand-alone game, that would put the SKU count at 12, assuming the record-scratching rhythm game comes out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.
As for Warriors of Rock, the game's subtitle may give some indication as to the game's direction. In April, KISS frontman Gene Simmons proclaimed himself to be "the voice" of Guitar Hero 6, and with the term Warrior slapped on the game's box, his storied musical career fits snugly into that description. The name also calls to mind Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, the first entry in the series to feature celebrity likenesses in-game.