Rest in peace, Guitar Hero, though we definitely knew you. In fact it turns out that’s why Activision decided to throw you under the bus after a brief albeit meteoric five-year run.
“We simply cannot make these games profitable given the current market,” said the publisher in an earnings call, confirming what we’ve long suspected: Like criticism, overexposure kills a relationship faster than anything.
Activision announced the demise of the Guitar Hero series Wednesday night, making it victim number one. Victim number two turns out to be a game called True Crime: Hong Kong, an open-world law enforcement update to the True Crime franchise by Vancouver developer United Front.
Poor United Front. Activision not only canceled their game, Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg kind of stuck the knife in, too, telling Eurogamer the game “just wasn’t going to be good enough.”
Back to Guitar Hero, the franchise saw well over a dozen core and spinoff games released between the titular original in November 2005, and last October’s Warriors of Rock. Bear in mind that for most of that period, competitor Electronic Arts was throwing Rock Band games at us, too.
Speaking of, it’s hard to say whether EA follows suit with the Rock Band franchise or uses Activision’s abdication to its advantage to pick up demographic remainders. I’m kind of over the whole idea, myself. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.
Activision’s new focus? What else: The Call of Duty series, a new Bungie game, and World of It-Prints-Money!-Craft (nee Blizzard).