February 9, 2011

Guitar Hero – The Bands Breaking Up

Activision Blizzard said   that it will be bringing the axe down on the “Guitar Hero” video game series.  This is quite surprising news considering how popular the titles have been. 

Blizzard also mentioned that it will be laying off 7% of its staff including the “Guitar Hero” team among them. 

Blizzard stated that “Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s ‘Guitar Hero’ business unit and discontinue development of (the game) for 2011,” Activision said.  This announcement coincided with the statement of it’s quarterly fiscal results. 

They have reassured the masses however that it remains dedicated to it’s everly popular Call of Duty franchise.  The Call of Duty franchise has seen more then a billion dollars in sales and World of Warcraft has more than 13 million subscribers.  These games are clearly their most popular.  Apparently the Guitar Hero franchise has lost it’s luster after it debuted back in 2005. 

Activision reported that it lost $233 million on net revenue of $1.43 billion in the final three months of 2010. It finished the year with a net profit of $418 million on annual net revenue of $4.45 billion.

On a side note I don’t find this surprising.  Activision likes to milk franchises that make them a ton of money and they did just that  with the Guitar Hero franchise.  Launching title after title every year.  Similar to what they are currently doing with Call of Duty however that franchise still sells like wildfire.  It will be interesting to see if the Call of Duty franchise can keep up it’s illustrious sales of if it too will eventually loose the appeal it once had.

5 comments

  1. ScrotusKilmystr - February 11, 2011 7:12 am

    It’s a shame to see any series be run into the ground but I think activision didn’t have any…well “vision”! I’m all for accordion hero or Lute hero maybe even spoons hero and banjo hero!!!!

    Reply
  2. cYpher - February 10, 2011 7:26 pm

    True to a certain point CC. Keep in mind – some of that advertising brings in $$ to help with development costs. But I believe that there was so much more that could have been done. While I understand that certain things for DLC, Activision is as bad as (if not worse than) EA now. Also – I think the mix-mash of songs and formats made it boring and un-interesting for some (including me.) They should made more genre specific versions like they did with GH:80’s…

    But no matter now, I just it’s just Rock Band from now on!

    Reply
  3. CharcoalCoyote - February 10, 2011 7:37 am

    I have two opinions on this. For one, it’s kinda sad. Back in the gh2 days, I was a Guitar Hero fanatic. Guitar Hero is the reason I now play guitar. So, it’s kinda sad to see it go. On the other hand, it seems more or less like a mercy killing. It stopped making money because the games started sucking. Title after title was just extra songs (which sucked) chunked together with a shitload of advertising and maybe some new gimmick. They put so many out that I started eagerly awaiting the demise of the franchise. In all actuality, I think it’s time for music games to step down. They’ve had their time in the spotlight, but now they’re EVERYWHERE, and 99% of them suck. I haven’t played Rock Band 3, so I don’t know about it. It seems a tad gimmicky, but we’ll see.

    Reply
  4. thsoundman - February 9, 2011 10:57 pm

    This tactic doesn’t suprise me. Activision has started making a habit of milking franchines for everything they are worth and then when they have run them into the ground and stomped on them like a hoe until every dollar has been squeezed out they drop them like a hot potatoe.

    This ties in with Activision Quarterly report so this news doesn’t suprise me but I’m sure that they will do this with the COD franchise once it stops making them billions. http://investor.activision.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=548900

    Reply
  5. cYpher - February 9, 2011 10:28 pm

    Activision is the “Yoko Ono” of the Guitar Hero industry.
    Plain and simple. The come in cause a rift between Red Octane and Harmonix. Next thing you know, Harmonix is now off doing it’s own thing in “Rock Band” and succeeding.

    I hope Harmonix can scoop up what’s left of this aftermath and make something of it!

    Reply

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