It's been a rough month for the former superstars of the rhythm genre. Rock Band label MTV Games ceased its publishing operations, which was shortly followed by the game's recently sold developer, Harmonix, laying off up to 15 percent of its staff. The capper came yesterday, as Activision disbanded its Guitar Hero business unit, confirming that there would be no 2011 installment in the franchise and the company will stop making new downloadable songs for the Hero franchise of games.
In a posting on the official Rock Band forums today, Harmonix's John Drake offered condolences for his competition and reassurance for fans worried that the developer's rhythm game series would be similarly scuttled. He acknowledged that the apparent death of the Guitar Hero franchise was "discouraging news" for fans of the genre and touted Harmonix's ongoing support for Rock Band in the form of new songs, as well as the upcoming Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitar controller. Drake also reminded Guitar Hero owners that most peripherals for the games work with Rock Band.
"The music genre is one that calls for constant reinvention, and Harmonix is continuing to welcome and embrace that call," Drake said, adding, "In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on. We're continuing to invest in the franchise and the brand that we have built and will do our best to serve all loyal band game fans."
For more on the latest installment in the series, check out GameSpot's review of Rock Band 3.