Activision Drops Harmonix As Guitar Hero Developer

Guitar Hero 1 and 2 were both highly successful games from independent game publisher RedOctane and developer Harmonix, but the next installment of GH will be developed by a different group–Neversoft, best known for the Tony Hawk franchise. Activision, which purchased RedOctane in May of last year, has denied stories that they intended to make the switch to Neversoft for production of GH III. Activision called the reports "rumor and speculation".

If there was any doubt as to the switchover, a quick click over to Neversoft’s website will yield an advertisement that says "Guitar Hero Positions Available". The ad links to 14 pages of job openings for the game.

The game industry has seen this sort of action before, but it typically only ocurs when a franchise is slumping quality-wise. One such example involved the Tomb Raider games. Eidos, which hired Core to develop the TR games, switched to Crystal Dynamics in an attempt to set the ailing series back on its feet. The move proved successful with the release of Tomb Raider: Legend.

In the case of the Guitar Hero franchise–which has proven itself to be a smash series–the sudden move to Neversoft could indicate that Activision is trying to either set the series in a new direction, or it may be an indication of internal problems surfacing between Harmonix and Activision in the wake of the RedOctane sale. Fans of the game have only one item on their agenda; that the next game in the franchise be as entertaining as–and hopefully better than–its predecessors.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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