Activision has announced it will immediately cease development of Guitar Hero games, effectively killing the iconic franchise after five years and more than a dozen titles. Activision’s decision comes after poor sales of the most recent title in the series, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
I was a keen early player of the Guitar Hero games, and while later titles became stale, there was no doubt how fun the series was in the beginning. Playing with a friend on a second guitar with some drink handy was as good as multiplayer gaming got in 2005. The franchise also had a real cultural impact – you don’t get an entire episode of South Park dedicated to your game unless you’ve made a lot of people sit up and take notice.
So, is this the end for games involving waggling little plastic guitars at your TV screen? Not necessarily. There is still EA’s Rock Band franchise, although Rock Band 3 also suffered poor sales when released last October, and is probably on thin ice right now.
The harsh reality is that consumers tired of bulky plastic instruments once the new wave of sleek motion controllers (Nintendo’s Wii Remote, followed by PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect) started taking over living rooms.
Incidentally, Activision also announced it was ending the DJ Hero series. I never did play either of the DJ Hero games, though I did hear the second game was fun as hell, so I may keep an eye open for a cheap copy.
As for you, Guitar Hero, I salute you, dear friend. Bye, bye, its been a sweet love!
*plays outro to Freebird at volume 11*