In: Articles by Anthony McGill17 Feb 2011
Just as they have slowly beaten the Tony Hawk franchise to death, Activision has literally driven Guitar Hero into the ground. It was bound to happen eventually. I guess no one hired an economist to tell him how saturation affects the market.
“At the same time, due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011.”
The main concern is how this will affect future music titles. Will Rock Band follow suit, or will Harmonix come up with an innovative hook to keep us interested? The music genre seems too new to die off this early. It is possible that if we just give music games some breathing room and spread out releases, maybe we can give the developers enough time to change things up.
Activision also noted:
“These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.”
Best interactive experiences?
What’s next; the death of Call of Duty? I understand why Activision continues to pump out release after release — it sells. If there’s a demand for it, keep it coming, right? But where does it end? Each Call of Duty title sells exponentially more than the previous, but that momentum can’t last forever. At some point, they will hit a wall, and the Treyarch and Infinity Ward shift between releases isn’t helping matters. If Activision doesn’t learn from its mistakes, it will put itself into a never-ending loop of successful starts that ultimately end in failures.
Activision’s public-relations faceman Dan Amrich posted on his blog:
“For a while there I couldn’t drown out the cries of gamers on forums, blogs, and Twitter saying GH should take some time off, and from all appearances, that’s what this is. Step back, let it breathe for a while, don’t make any major plans, and see what happens in the future. I’m very okay with that.”
Will there be a Guitar Hero comeback in the next few years? Personally, I could see it happening. While games like Just Dance 2 and Dance Central have swept away those who would rather dance than play an instrument, there will always be the DragonForce kids posting videos to Youtube as well as fans of rock and metal who just want their guitar.
So what do you think? What is the future of other music titles like Rock Band? What is to be expected from Activision’s other franchises, and will there be a Guitar Hero comeback?