At one point in time, Guitar Hero was one of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry. Each title brought with it millions of sales, and the games were the center of many parties and get-togethers. Over the years the quality of the games began to decline, with multiple Guitar Hero titles released each year until eventually Activision cancelled the series, along with DJ Hero.
Now, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed why he believes the franchise began to under perform, pointing out the mistakes that Activision themselves had made, namely not listening to their fan base.
“We didn’t really take the time that we usually take to understand audience behavior. It was one of those things where we were resting on the idea that one of the essential fantasies of video games is to unleash your inner rock star. And it didn’t really matter how you did that, but as long as you were allowing people to unleash their inner rock star fantasies, you’d continue to be successful. So we went off on a passion project that had a point of differentiation — which is called DJ Hero.”
While some may find it difficult to attribute the failures of Guitar Hero to DJ Hero, Kotick believes that by focusing their efforts on DJ Hero, Activision allowed the Guitar Hero franchise to stagnate. Unfortunately, gamers were not as interested in what DJ Hero had to offer, and commercially the game never took off — relative too Guitar Hero, at least. When gamers turned back to Guitar Hero, they found that it wasn’t as much fun as it had been in previous years, mostly due to the lack of innovation in the games.
“And so it was the double whammy of DJ Hero was unsuccessful, and then Guitar Hero became unsuccessful because it didn’t have any nourishment and care. So we made what I think was exactly the right decision last year [to cease development].”
Luckily for gamers who miss Guitar Hero, Kotick states that the franchise is now undergoing a reboot. No details have been given, but Activision currently has an unannounced developer looking at new ways to reinvent Guitar Hero and make it fresh again. While Guitar Hero may be on hiatus for now, it will be back one day.
“…we’re going to go back to the studios and we’re going to use new studios and reinvent Guitar Hero. And so that’s what we’re doing with it now.”
Are you eagerly anticipating a new Guitar Hero, or do you think Activision will just repeat its old mistakes by releasing endless sequels?