Video game Publisher Activision has officially pulled the plug on the Guitar Hero franchise. Activision will be closing its music game division and cease development in Guitar Hero titles to focus in online efforts. In the company’s most recent financial statement, Activision expanded upon their reasoning by saying:
“Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.”
Despite once being a promising source of profit for the music industry, Guitar Hero’s death doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. The music industry has experienced an overall decline in almost every aspect for the past year now, but music themed video games’ popularity have especially decreased over time (or more specifically, a 47% decrease to $43.5 billion as reported in May, 2010). Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, which was released last holiday season, had lackluster sales (despite its special partnership with Soundgarden), and competitors like Rock Band and DJ Hero aren’t doing much better either. So while it’s somewhat shocking that Guitar Hero’s death came so suddenly, it’s not like the writing hasn’t been on the wall. At least we’ll always have the memories of playing “Carry On Wayward Son” on the expert level. Good times.