Note: This post is fairly dated, as the quotes contained herein are old. For whatever reason, this one never made the cut for me. Apparently, my cut here is far easier to make.
Pretty much everyone is already aware that Activision has cancelled the Guitar Hero series. Most of those people should remember that the original Guitar Hero was a collaboration between Red Octane and Harmonix.
Kelly Summer, former CEO of Red Octane, believes that Activision “abused” the Guitar Hero franchise, and that, “there’s no reason why Guitar Hero cannot continue. It’s a great product. My gut tells me there is still a significant market for Guitar Hero.” While I can appreciate the sentiment behind those thoughts, the reality is that Activision only did what should have been done years ago by putting a stake in the heart of Guitar Hero.
When Guitar Hero first released in 2005, it was an instant success. Naturally, a sequel soon followed, and it was the best game in the Guitar Hero series to date. After Guitar Hero II, the future of the series was basically doomed when Activision purchased Red Octane, but opted to pass on Harmonix. Instead, they gave development chores to Neversoft, who had previously only worked on the Tony Hawk series.
Meanwhile, Harmonix was snapped up by MTV Games, and went on to release Rock Band, the game that basically did everything Guitar Hero did, did it better, and let your friends be part of the band. The one-two punch of a new developer and a competitor that was making a much more desirable product sent Guitar Hero reeling, and it never recovered. Activision tried to emulate Rock Band with Guitar Hero: World Tour, but the game was harnessed with a cumbersome interface and a substandard drum peripheral, among other problems.
GH: Warriors of Rock only exacerbated the issue, as it ended up going head to head with what is widely considered the most polished music game ever produced, Rock Band 3. Most of the people who are still playing music games were ready for something new, and Rock Band 3’s Pro Mode was right on the money.
So while I can’t argue with the sentiment that Activision abused the GH series, I can’t support the idea of continuing it. It’s been withering on the vine for quite some time now, and killing it was the only decent thing to do.

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