It's been almost a decade since folks at Harmonix and Red Octane took a fairly niche genre and turned it into a global phenomenon with the original Guitar Hero. Nearly every gamer had the signature plastic instruments crowding their living room space, but franchise fatigue eventually set in, and the genre faded away.
As interest in the genre dissipated, the biggest franchises started dying off. Activision, the owners of the Guitar Hero license after the first game in the series, is arguably to blame for the killing of the genre, as they released an absurd amount of games in the series each year. There was one main series game per year, plus a dizzying amount of spinoffs and side projects, which ultimately resulted in major franchise fatigue.
Due to the lack of enthusiasm about the music genre, Activision cancelled rumored projects such as further Guitar Hero and Band Hero sequels. They even laid off large amounts of staff, and decided to completely cancel their music games altogether. For all intents and purposes, the video gaming music genre died in 2010.
But just like a great band, it seems like the genre itself is prepped to make a comeback in 2015. Today a new teaser trailer has been released for what can only be Guitar Hero 7.
The teaser is live-action, and it depicts a band preparing backstage for their performance. This is all seen through the eyes of the guitar player, as he nervously fidgets with his pick. The band is then whisked away through a backstage full of groupies, roadies, and managers, until finally hitting the stage. Before they can begin their performance, the teaser ends with a date: April 14th.
The backstage scenes are not likely indicative of what the gameplay will be like, though the potential tone of the game may be ascertained from the video. The Guitar Hero series started out with a relatively realistic depiction of bands and musicians (only to later throw in battles with Satan, aliens, and demi-gods) as they start at the bottom and work their way up the ladder to fame. This more realistic approach was lost in the sequels, but if these backstage scenes are any indication, the realistic Guitar Hero vibe could be returning in this new game.
Another potential clue as to what Guitar Hero 7 may bring to the table can be garnered from when the band actually hits the stage. Later entries in the franchise added other instruments besides guitars, including drums and microphones, that provided an experience more like the franchise's chief competitor Rock Band. All of these instruments were on display in this short teaser, albeit briefly.
Speaking of guitars, drums, and microphones, over the years, many have accumulated a lot of these plastic instruments. They've sort of become a hot ticket item at garage sales in recent years, but those that held on to theirs will most likely be able to save a little money when Guitar Hero 7 releases. It is a virtual guarantee that the instruments used in previous games will be compatible with the new versions on PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, there's even cross-compatibility between most of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band branded instruments.
Whether they will have to re-purchase some of the instruments or already have a full set, fans of the genre potentially have a great year ahead of them. Not only is the new Guitar Hero being revealed tomorrow, but Rock Band 4 is on its way as well. After five years of both franchises being dormant, it's exciting to see them make their big comeback. Will the music genre craze take hold like it did last generation, or are consumers still sick of it? Time will tell.
Guitar Hero 7, or whatever it ends up being called, will have a full reveal on April 14th. The game will very likely release this fall on PS4 and Xbox One.