Former RedOctane CEO: Activision to blame for Guitar Hero downfall

Guitar Hero

Publisher Activision recently decided to stop production on any and all Guitar Hero titles, bringing the six-year franchise to an end (for now). Kelly Sumner, former CEO of Guitar Hero’s original publisher RedOctane, believes Activision is to blame for the series’ downfall.

"They tried to get too much out of the franchise too quickly," explained Sumner. "They abused it. There’s no reason why Guitar Hero cannot continue. It’s a great product."

Sumner went on to elaborate his feelings on the franchise and how there may still be hope.

"My gut tells me there is still a significant market for Guitar Hero," he said. "Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise, but maybe that’s what Activision wants. I’d be surprised if they sold the brand as it’d prove to the world there is still a market for this product and show them up."

In regards to the series’ over-saturation, Sumner may have a point. Overall there were eight Hero games released in 2009. That number was reduced to just two in 2010, but the damage may have already been done.

Paulina Bozek, who worked on the SingStar franchise, believes some forward-thinking concepts needed to be introduced to Guitar Hero.

"Nothing lasts forever," she said. "The Guitar Hero platform was ubiquitous; perhaps it was time for some radical thinking. Basically, move towards something online that takes the formula forwards."

The well received Rock Band 3 seemed to pull out all the stops last year, so it’s hard to tell where music/rhythm games can go from here. Looks like the future of the Guitar Hero franchise will be a shaky one.



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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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