Activision VP says that the Guitar Hero franchise isn’t dead, it’s simply ‘on hiatus’

guitar hero5When Activision announced in February that it was disbanding its Guitar Hero business unit, no one was particularly surprised. Rhythm games were once quite popular, but market saturation combined with the higher-than-normal cost that each game’s specially designed peripherals demand contributed to a sharp decline in a short amount of time.

Now the video game publisher is stepping back somewhat from its actions earlier this year. While the planned 2011 Guitar Hero game continues to be cancelled — don’t expect that to change — it seems that a door is being left open for the franchise’s future. Certainly more than it seemed after that initial announcement. Dan Winters, the company’s vice president of developer relations, said as much in a new interview with gamesindustry.biz.

“Actually, just to clarify, we’re just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus, we’re not ending it,” he said. “We’re releasing products out of the vault – we’ll continue to sustain the channel, the brand won’t go away. We’re just not making a new one for next year, that’s all.”

When put like that, the tidings for the series seem far less dire than the original announcement suggested: “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.”

Winters also spoke a little bit on True Crime: Hong Kong, an open-world action game that was reported to be nearing completion when Activision pulled the plug on it in the same announcement that saw Guitar Hero being canned. He said that while a great game was shaping up — “We are confident that thing would have been eighty plus. Eighty five maybe.” — the cost to finish it off and put it out was too high in relation to the expected returns, especially with other higher profile titles crowding the market.

“We were really confident that they were tracking towards a very good game. The challenges in the marketplace right now, when you’re talking about open-world games that are going to compete with titles like Red Dead Redemption, expectations for the consumer are really high,” he said.

“That would have been, and still might end up being, a very successful mid-tier opportunity for someone. But, as I said, we changed our business model to where we were going to change our business model to focus disproportionately on three big, huge monsters. Those three monsters are the Bungie, Call of Duty and Spyro titles.”

The big question we should all be asking after reading Winters’ comments is… is Spyro really still that popular? Who knew?

Gaming

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.
Gaming

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Gaming

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.
Gaming

How to break Posture and deal a Shinobi Deathblow in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an incredibly difficult game, and managing the Posture system is a key part of improving and tackling the latest From Software title's most challenging sections.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.
Gaming

Get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One

You can get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One from Newegg. Eight different bundles are available for this deal, so you can walk away with Sekiro and another game such as The Division 2 or Anthem.
Gaming

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Gaming

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…