As of late the economy has hit us all in unexpected places such as: the Adult film industry, the music industry, the comic industry, and sadly the video game industry. With developers and publishers closing and downsizing left and right. It’s not surprising to see popular franchises like True Crime and Duke Nukem falling to the wayside. But when Activision announced early in the week that they were dropping the popular and seemingly profitable franchise Guitar Hero more than a few eyebrows were raised.
The company sighting “a decline in demand for peripheral-based music games” as one of the reasons going on to say “Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply cannot make these games profitably based on current economics and demand. Instead, what we’ll do is focus our time and energies on marketing and supporting our strong catalog of titles and downloadable content, especially to new consumers as the installed base for hardware continues to grow.” The company says it will focus more on opportunity’s to create some of the world’s most creative and interactive games.
However, to many this departure from the Guitar Hero Series in not surprising, due to the severe oversaturation of the music gaming market it’s hard to believe that the series even managed to last this long. Besides the many versions of Guitar Hero you had DJ Hero, Band Hero, the many versions of Rock Band and of course the other plethora of games out there. With all these titles competing for the same market it seems hard for anyone to keep a slight interest in any of it. Although, Activision really milked the Guitar Hero franchise. With their constant sequels, few improvements and lack of content there’s no real incentive to keep buying more of these games.
Unlike Rock Band which gave the consumer the ability to combine tracks from previous games into the later games Guitar Hero kept the same format which I would say led to the series’ demise. Not only did it seem that Guitar Hero’s lack of innovation and progress stopped the franchise lawsuits seemed to constantly plague Activision on a constant basis. Of course there was Gibson, the many bugs that plagued this game and a myriad of musicians. With all these problems I bet Activision is glad they ditched this series especially when you have to get the rights for so many of these songs. I hope that with the death of Guitar Hero future developer’s take caution on handling a series of this caliber.