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Activision Axes Guitar Hero

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the death-of-a-genre dept.

Music 160

jtillots writes "Activision Blizzard has canceled the Guitar Hero franchise, citing 'declining revenue of the music game genre.' Also on the chopping block was DJ Hero and True Crime. Fat_bot put it best — it's the new Day the Music Died." This comes only a few months after Viacom dropped Rock Band developer Harmonix for similar reasons, and less than a week after they closed MTV Games altogether.

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Biding their time... (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159732)

until Jimmy Page dies and they can finally get the rights to what everyone always wanted out of this genre.

Re:Biding their time... (1)

theY4Kman (1519023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159746)

I could do with some more Jackson Browne.

Re:Biding their time... (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159902)

considering he gave the devil his soul for everlast life as the worlds greatest guitarist that wont happen anytime soon.

Re:Biding their time... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160058)

Denied!

Re:Biding their time... (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160804)

I know I'm going to burn for this, but what the heck...

Who's Jimmy Page, the guy from Led Zeppelin?

          -dZ.

Re:Biding their time... (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160928)

Jimmy Page [lmgtfy.com]

Milkin' gone sour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159742)

"Dammit, no matter how hard I squeeze, no more milk is coming out!! Chop up the cow."

Re:Milkin' gone sour (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159796)

Too right. The first one I played was GH3, way more fun than I expected. So far I've bught something like 5 more games and a few albums of songs, but they started bringing them out *way* faster than I'm willing to buy. Plus, I've been waiting for the real guitar controller for RB3.

Re:Milkin' gone sour (1)

Nimloth (704789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160662)

Agreed. Also IMO this kind of game will appeal to a certain crowd, and the problem is that this crowd will be satisfied with having a couple of these games and not feel the need to buy whatever they put out next. So within a few titles they have saturated the market. I still play RB1 almost every day, when I get tired I download a few new song off the music store and I'm good. I will probably get RB3 soon, but still that's one music game I've played for the last 3 years steady without getting bored. It's not that the genre has lost its appeal, it's that the games out there are good enough that new ones are no longer needed.

Re:Milkin' gone sour (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160756)

I was happy to buy ones with good new songs. Part of the reason I didn't buy Rock Band 2 was because so many of the songs on it already came with Guitar Hero 4.. I then bought Guitar Hero: Van Halen, and Rock Band: Beatles and Green Day versions because I enjoy the songs. Bought Rock Band 3 because it has good songs, and like I said I think the full guitar playing is a nice idea (I play guitar, though I do prefer drumming overall) and would consider getting the real guitar when it comes out. I think Activision are showing amazingly poor business acumen here. They should be making a boatload of profit, not turning a loss. Better to have a demand for more games and peripherals than to saturate the market. Probably in their efforts to outdo each other Guitar Hero and Rock Band went overboard.. the Harmonix team have been the ones driving things forward the whole time, and would have been better off doing it all on their own.

Re:Milkin' gone sour (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160866)

You forget: Activision are on the "beat the horse till it's dead then beat it some more" release schedule. And they don't have actual studios to innovate, they just have "me too me too let's rip someone else's idea off" studios like Neversoft who are designed to drive franchises into the ground.

With Rock Band, Harmonix hasn't been pushing out games constantly, and when they have, there's been actual innovation to go with them - RB2 was a marked improvement over RB1, RB3 brings the full-guitar and keyboard options to the table.

As for DJ Hero and "True Crime"... whoever greenlit them past the first game ought to have been fired.

Re:Milkin' gone sour (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161054)

So within a few titles they have saturated the market..

I think so too. People don't produce money in their digestive tract and have it just come out every day in the bathroom to be tossing it at everything they see in front of them.

Obligatory (0)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159788)

And nothing of value was lost.

Weird (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159790)

I recall a time when Guitar Hero was one of the best selling games around

Re:Weird (3, Interesting)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159812)

And then they kept fucking the customers over, by releasing new games over and over, with nothing more but new songs in em and a small feature tweak that easily could had been sold as DLC.

Rock Band was actually on the right track, Guitar Hero was not.
But Guitar Hero ruined it for everyone else, by giving the entire thing a bad reputation.

Re:Weird (1)

grantek (979387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159904)

BTW, everyone on the internet should remember this (an example of a game that's very hard to pirate due to proprietary hardware) the next time a big media corporation wails on about piracy killing them.

Re:Weird (1, Offtopic)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160094)

So you want companies to start including expensive custom hardware with their games?
That'll surely kill the market.

Besides, when you own the hardware, you can pirate all the other games easily.
Buy Guitar Hero World Tour, full set with drums, guitar etc, and you can pirate Rock Band 1 2 3, Guitar Hero 3, 5 and all the band version.

So not really the best argument, unless they make the hardware incompatible with each version, which would be very retarded.

Re:Weird (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160956)

If you don't understand the post you're replying to, don't reply.

Re:Weird (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160754)

Rock Band may or may not be over. There is certainly room for at least one music game franchise. With this new development we could see Rock Band bought up and continued. I certainly hope so anyway. I was waiting for the Strat to come out before I bought it because I don't want a fake guitar at any price. In fact I have several guitar hero games and a stupid plastic guitar that I got when I bought my used 360 and I have not plugged the guitar in ONCE nor even considered slotting any of the games into my console more than briefly. Why would I want to learn to play fake guitar? I can do that now and I don't have to worry about a score. Learning to play a real guitar would at least be useful.

Re:Weird (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161210)

This is true, 100 times over. The key has always been Harmonix: Harmonix developed Guitar Hero 1 and 2, which were great. Activision then bought the franchise, ditched Harmonix, and released a barrage of crappy Guitar Hero games. Harmonix went on to create Rock Band, and Activision copied the band concept. The only reason Activision had a few sales successes after ditching Harmonix is because they were literally riding the reputation Harmonix had built for the series with the first two incarnations.

It simply can't be said enough - Harmonix knows how to make appealing music games, but Activision has nearly run the entire genre into the ground.

Re:Weird (2)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159834)

My gf bought the latest edition of Guitar Hero, I think it's called Warriors of Rock. How can I put this mildly? The song selection is simply garbage. Maybe they used up all the good songs in the previous editions of Guitar Hero, I don't know. But I'm positive this is the reason it had such poor sales.

Re:Weird (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160072)

The song selection is simply garbage.

That may have been the result of the usual media corporations' greed. Those who manage the rights want to squeeze as much out of their licensees as they can, even if it ruins them in the long run. The more popular those music games got, the more the MAFIA demanded. Which in turn caused the game producers to go with cheaper, lesser-known, 3rd rate songs.

Another modern revenue stream killed by the music industry's greed, I guess. At least they're sticking to what they're best at ;)

Re:Weird (1)

X-chan (782883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160152)

I own all Guitar Hero from the 3rd installment to the 6th one (yes I'm a sucker for music games), and my favorite games are the 3rd and the 6th one. Mostly for the tracklist which is a matter of personal taste. But since each game doesn't add much beside new songs, it's harder to sell new games, especially since it's annoying to swap games to play your favorite songs. You can find some songs from older games as DLC, but what would have made the game much better would have been the possibility to copy songs from games you own on a SD card and be able to play them on any other game of the serie.

Re:Weird (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160196)

What really would have made the game much, much better would have been if they had only made one or two games, and a metric assload of DLC.

Re:Weird (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160308)

That sums it up quite nicely.
Turning it into their own little content ecosystem might have also offered other advantages. Music companies and the game company work together so the same day a new album hits the stores its highlights can also be bought as DLC.
Or even sell high-priced limited editions which not only include the album but also a branded thumbdrive with the new game content and promotional material (e.g., band interview about the new album).

Re:Weird (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160470)

That's madness! Deviating from the age-old paradigm "one old-fashioned, inflexible bundle-release at a time"? RIAA execs would get panic attacks due to this new-fangled distribution system! Probably would also receive lots of resistance because it'd allow people to buy new releases in a way that doesn't count in some top/chart rating system designed in the 70s; by which these old-timers measure their income, personal worth or something.

Re:Weird (4, Informative)

nordee (104555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160652)

Hmmm....

Like this?

http://www.rockband.com/songs [rockband.com] (2,566 songs and counting)

Re:Weird (1)

DeAngeloLampkin (1993582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159866)

If I had to guess, I'd say Guitar Hero was hosed by a double-edged sword:

1. Sequalities and competition
2. Higher costs to license music.

Of course, there's no way to know for certainty without being in the meeting where the decision was made. That said, these two things would probably undercut profits significantly.

-DeAngelo
www.braincano.com

Re:Weird (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160046)

Yes, just like Call of Duty now, another Activision owned franchise.

I bet in a few years time CoD goes the same way, because since CoD4: Modern Warfare it's just been declining. CoD5: World at War was okay, CoD6: MW2 wasn't terrible but was a far cry from the last two, and then the latest, Black Ops, was just terrible.

Sales have still been on the up for the franchise, but I bet it wont last, people will only take a few crappy games in a row before they give up.

Activision seems exceptionally good at destroying franchises. At least EA, for all the monotony of many of it's yearly franchises, still manages to keep them going and keep them selling way in the long run for those that do like them.

Re:Weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160282)

And tony hawk.

Re:Weird (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160512)

They're trying their hardest to run WoW into the ground at the moment as well.

Re:Weird (2)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160634)

Yep.

For some strange reason Activision seems to think that the best business practice is to take good selling, popular games and makes changes to the fundamental playstyles and goals of the games.

You add to games, not take things away.

Morons ought to look at AutoCad for examples.

The same keyboard commands from R10 are still available and working in the latest release. New stuff has been added, but the old stuff is still there.

Re:Weird (1)

SHaFT7 (612918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160686)

The difference there is, people make money with AutoCad, they don't with RB/GH/Music Games in General

Re:Weird (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161022)

That's a valid point. Even the most virtuoso players will not get more than a prize here and there, and some slaps on the back.

Not that it's truly "making money" but I won enough local weekly tournaments to pay for my bar tab on Friday nights. $25 cash while drinking beer and winning, or pay nothing extra to do the same thing on Xbox Live?

I'll take the beer, sir.

Re:Weird (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160846)

Meanwhile Activision is rolling in the dough while people keep on purchasing the newest game craze.

Disposing of the stale carcasses of old franchises does not spell doom when new franchises are on the rise.

          -dZ.

Re:Weird (1)

daodao (1641121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160212)

Just in time for it to be remembered nostalgically in 10 years as one of the defining games of Generation Z.

Finally, some sanity! (0)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159800)

I think future generations will look back on the days where everyone thought 'Guitar Hero' was 'cool' much in the same way as my generation looks back at the days where 'air guitar' was cool: with a shudder of embarrassment.

Obligatory... you know the rest. (4, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159980)

Obligatory XKCD. [xkcd.com] It's OK that you don't get it, but those of us who like music games will keep having fun even if you don't think it's "cool".

Re:Obligatory... you know the rest. (3, Insightful)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160116)

+1

I hear so many people do exactly what they show in XKCD.
They bitch and moan about how it's "not really playing an instrument".

Well, playing GT5 isn't really "driving a car", but it's still fun and entertaining.

I still break out my plastic guitar now and then, to look like a retard while trying to play Through the Fire and Flames, by Dragonforce.
I usually end up smashing something, but it's fun none the less.

I dunno... (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160276)

I dunno, there's a whole industry of force-feedback steering wheels and pedals and whatnot to make it at least the same kind of thing. You know, you turn a wheel, the car turns.

And let me stress that part again: the car turns when _you_ turn the wheel. In other words, wake me up when such a game at least plays the tune _you_ play, instead of just making you press buttons on cue to a tune that keeps playing the same no matter what you do.

If you want a GT5 equivalent, let's call it Race Car Hero, it would involve watching a pre-recorded race that happens the same no matter what you do, and you just have to press the buttons you're told to press while watching it. But otherwise if you press right instead of left when told, you lose some points but the car on the screen still does the pre-recorded left turn.I think pretty much everyone would agree that such a game would be frakking retarded.

Re:I dunno... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160348)

There were some games like that, back in the early days of cd based consoles it was common to stream (poor quality) video from cd, overlay a minimal level of interaction on top and call it a game.

Re:I dunno... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160706)

Well, there still are lightgun shooters on rails like that, where you just point the gun at the screen, but otherwise the route and enemies popping up and all is pre-scripted and happens without any input from you.

Still, even then, an enemy falls over when you shoot it, reloads when you shoot outside the screen, the game pauses until you finish an enemy or faceplant, etc. And often you have other options too, like seeing your character duck behind cover when you press or release some key on the gun. It's still not quite the kind of interaction in Guitar Hero. If it were, the enemy would get shot in the head even if you aim at something else, you just wouldn't get the points.

But anyway, even for those games you mention, there's an important aspect: It's a phase we've largely outgrown. (Well, except for lightgun games and some porn games.)

Re:I dunno... (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161042)

Screw light guns. I'm all about light BIKES!

http://armagetronad.net/ [armagetronad.net]

Re:I dunno... (3, Insightful)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161136)

It's still not quite the kind of interaction in Guitar Hero. If it were, the enemy would get shot in the head even if you aim at something else, you just wouldn't get the points.

That part right there makes it kinda obvious that you don't know what you're talking about. I guess you're just one of those angry old men, who wish young lads would pick up a real instrument instead.
GH is not, and was never meant to be, an alternative to real instruments. It's just entertainment. Exactly like GT5. If it doesn't entertain you, don't play it. So far though, *everyone* I've actually seen playing the game has had fun with it. This includes people with actual instrumental skills.
I know people who don't like the game. None of them tried playing. They looked at the controller, said "Yeah ok, that's retarded, I'm not touching that", and decided that they were apparently surrounded by retards.
Your loss.

Re:I dunno... (2)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161446)

hat part right there makes it kinda obvious that you don't know what you're talking about.

Really? Well, I trust you'll enlighten me then.

I guess you're just one of those angry old men, who wish young lads would pick up a real instrument instead.

Ah, right, the appeal to motives fallacy. I was wondering when the usual fanboy bullshit pops up.

No, I never picked an instrument myself. I'm just sick and tired of the endless stream of bullshit that happens about those games. If you want to play a button-mashing game, fine, knock yourself out, but spare me the pretense that it's on par with an actual simulation like GT5 or, for that matter, such bullshit fallacies.

GH is not, and was never meant to be, an alternative to real instruments. It's just entertainment. Exactly like GT5. If it doesn't entertain you, don't play it.

I don't.

So far though, *everyone* I've actually seen playing the game has had fun with it.

And everyone I know that plays WoW or gets whipped by a domina, is enjoying it, or they wouldn't play it. That's such a content-free truism that it doesn't bring any actual information, except to grease the slide into the meat of the bullshit:

I know people who don't like the game. None of them tried playing. They looked at the controller, said "Yeah ok, that's retarded, I'm not touching that", and decided that they were apparently surrounded by retards.
Your loss.

Ah, right, the standard "everyone is a clone of me, and if they don't like the same things, they never tried it and/or they're in denial" argument. 'Cause God knows it can't be even theoretically possible that different people actually like different things ;)

Get a clue, really.

Reality goes only so far... (4, Interesting)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160704)

Gee, in most race car games I've seen, you can sideswipe the walls, crash into other drivers, spin out, etc, and you aren't immediately disabled, dead or permanently out of the race. The game is forgiving -on purpose-. And by they way, in GH and RB, if you don't push the buttons, the tune does NOT keep on playing. Your errors screw up the music you hear, until eventually the performer 'fails' and the band is booed off the stage. Of course it's artificial - doesn't mean it's not fun.

Your Race Car Hero game sounds a lot like Dragon's Lair, which boiled down to nothing more than 'push the correct button at the beep'. Yet that game did pretty well for it's time.

Re:Reality goes only so far... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160856)

Keywords: for its time.

Re:I dunno... (1)

Izhido (702328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161142)

Yeah! You heard him right! Stop having fun with your unrealistic games altogether!

Re:I dunno... (2)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161226)

Yes, boiled down to its essence, rhythm games are just pressing buttons to a color on the screen. But if you want to argue usefulness, players are learning rhythm to different beats as they are learning to step up and step down on fake instruments. These skills do transfer over to playing an instrument.

But that's not really the point. The really fun thing about these types of games is that you get a whole bunch of different people who DO NOT play video games and have great time. It's a SOCIAL experience. I watched my mother and my aunt sing a duet together and they are both in their seventies who look at all video games the same way you look at rhythm games.

And yes, people look ridiculous when they brag about their fake guitar skills the same way they look ridiculous when they brag about their fake driving skills or their fake army skills.

I think people raise their nose at them because it's one of those things that look so ridiculous but turns out to be really fun with a low point of entry. But when other gamers turn up their nose, I want to hit them with a clue stick because they fail to see the irony of their snobbery. They don't realize that they are being judged by the exact same criteria by non-gamers.

Re:Obligatory... you know the rest. (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160318)

That's the thing, it is still fun, I still enjoy playing it from time to time. It's nothing special, but it's fun with a few friends sometimes

It's just a shame they had to burn out the franchise by releasing so many. I suppose it was the best business model, but it would have been better if they could just release one game and then just release $10 song packs every now and then (as in, reasonable sized ones, not just a few songs).

I guess maybe the license fees prevented them from doing that, but with how often the guitars seem to break, I'd imagine they'd make a profit on that along.

Re:Obligatory... you know the rest. (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161456)

+1 yourself.

Hey, you downtalkers:

You have a problem with unrealistic games and their popularity?

Remember...

Pacman?

Re:Obligatory... you know the rest. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160336)

Even though I play the real guitar, I enjoyed playing RockBand with my brother and her girlfriend. In general I think it is quite entertaining, and is something anyone can do.

For me, the secret was in that you could enjoy a song while "doing something". And in some cases, it was nice to have a well varied set of songs to choose. That way all the players get to listen a song they like (e.g., I get to listen to Judas Priest, my mom gets to listen to the Beatles, my wife gets to listen to The Killers, etc...).

I think the main revenue stream should be focused on making songs available. This, instead of trying to sell a new piece of plastic (instrument) every year... which gets more and more complex to use.

Re:Obligatory... you know the rest. (2)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161590)

I never understood the GH and RB haters that shunned the idea of playing a "fake guitar" but saw absolutely nothing wrong with using a plastic controller that amounted to making fake dudes run around and kill each other with fake guns.

Re:Finally, some sanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160294)

It makes me mad, because as a "REAL (tm)" guitar, bass player, this cruft has blanketed the used market with a bunch of plastic crap. I don't pay 10 grand for JBL's for no reason here. Even stupid shit like guitar strap is now flooded with this bullshit. It takes the fun out of digging for old guitars whne you have 1000 pages of guitar hero crap to wade through the pro shit.

Re:Finally, some sanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160324)

I bought a hundred nylon guitar straps just the other day, and when I un-packed them, they were made for leprechauns, or little people, not for a regular guitar or bass.

Re:Finally, some sanity! (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160520)

Sounds like their hobby beat up your hobby.

Re:Finally, some sanity! (1)

rJah (1216024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160692)

And since when is air guitar NOT cool? :P

Re:Finally, some sanity! (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161720)

No one ever thought air guitar was cool. Saying "the days where 'air guitar' was cool" is kind of like saying "the days when MC Hammer was hardcore" or "the days when Bret Michaels was respected by headbangers."

Re:Finally, some sanity! (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161866)

I think future generations will look back on the days where everyone thought 'Guitar Hero' was 'cool' much in the same way as my generation looks back at the days where 'air guitar' was cool: with a shudder of embarrassment.

*shrug* Like it or hate it, from my perspective, I credit Guitar Hero et al with teaching me to understand the musicality of a lot of music I had previously been unable to listen to.

I didn't grow up listening to punk, metal, or alternative -- as a result, I found them to be overly dissonant with no clear structure or rhythm. These games taught me to appreciate what was actually going on in there, and as a result, my music tastes have expanded to encompass a lot more things (and as a result, buy a lot of CDs I'd never have considered).

From that perspective, I am quite happy for the time I spent playing Guitar Hero -- I sure as hell wouldn't have bought any Rise Against or Social Distortion before playing those games.

Activision "Axes" Guitar Hero (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159806)

I see what you did there.

Re:Activision "Axes" Guitar Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159968)

Mod parent funny

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159826)

Rock Band is the real reason they declined. Already on their 3rd installment, new instruments, an actual Guitar that works for the game.. Keytar too? Guitar Hero just cannot keep up with that.. even with World Tour. Late in the Game, First to Fall.

Not enough variety? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159830)

Maybe its just that when you have played guitar hero to one song, you have played'em all.

Re:Not enough variety? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159950)

Your mp3 collection contains one song only?

There is a lot variety, but with variety comes difficulty. Throw in that the current youth has a hard time hitting off-beat notes I guess that the group that is able to finish a song already has all the songs they want. (All songs they want and which are available. I would give them more money IF they offered more songs from bands I like.)

Re:Not enough variety? (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160132)

I'd suggest you try something new.
Try googling "Frets on Fire".

It's anopen source "Guitar Hero" variant for PC, with an unlimited music library.
Make your own if you aren't satisfied.

I actually think it pre dates Guitar Hero, but I am not sure on that, so don't hold that against me.

Re:Not enough variety? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160530)

That's Guitar Hero's ultimate downfall. I have most of the Guitar Heros, but now that I've worked my way up to playing on expert the songs do get to the stage where they are all very similar.

Hence Rock Band! The drums were a lot of fun, the keys are a lot of fun, playing the various instruments in a band is a lot of fun. More importantly, Guitar Pro! a real Fender Stratocastor to plug into the Wii and play every single note as it is intended. That I am looking forward to. It'll move guitar hero from a game to a practical learning tool.

Most importantly though, guitar hero isn't so much a casual game, or a hardcore game as it is a boooooze game. It'll come out when the friends are over, when we're horribly drunk, heck I've even been to a guitar hero party (thought I can't remember most of it). I don't think I've ever played it by myself because it sounds like one of the most boring things around.

On the bright side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159878)

On the bright side, this will officially bring an end to the people who enter each and every Guitar Hero thread to inform everyone that playing a plastic guitar is not the same thing as playing a real guitar.

Now I just need to wait for chess to die so I can stop hearing from the "chess is good, but it's nowhere near as subtle and complex as go" posses that get drummed up every time there's a chess story posted anywhere in the world.

Re:On the bright side... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160092)

Pfft, chess sucks when compared to the real thing, commanding a group of 16 warriors on an 8x8 battlefield in a battle to the death.

Re:On the bright side... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160170)

Mortal Kombat is fine, but that's nowhere near as satisfying as beating up people for real.

Re:On the bright side... (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160728)

Minecraft is fine, but that's nothing as satisfying working in dark, hazardous coal mines and contracting black lung.

I just hope.. (1)

ihaveamo (989662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159890)

,,, they haven't axed This! [gizmodo.com]

I liked Sousaphone Hero better ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35159918)

http://www.theonion.com/articles/activision-reports-sluggish-sales-for-sousaphone-h,2246/

Activision Reports Sluggish Sales For Sousaphone Hero August 1, 2007 | ISSUE 4331

08.06.09 SANTA MONICA, CA—Despite a catchy 1890s soundtrack and realistic-feeling game play, Sousaphone Hero, the third installment of Activision's massively popular Guitar Hero video game franchise, sold a mere 52 copies in the United States in its opening week, the company reported Monday.

Enlarge Image"In the wake of Guitar Hero's success, we thought the public was more than ready for additional popular American musical genres in a simulated-performance format, but people don't seem to be responding to marches as well as we had hoped," said Activision spokeswoman Melissa Hendleman, whose company spent an estimated $25 million developing the game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles.

Sousaphone Hero offers two dozen public-domain marches, including 1893's "The Liberty Bell," 1896's "Stars and Stripes Forever," and 1897's "Entry of the Gladiators." The bulky sousaphone-shaped controller coils around the body, and players wear white spat-like foot coverings fitted with sensors that monitor synchronized marching steps. As with the fret buttons on Guitar Hero's guitar peripheral, the sousaphone controller's three valves are color-coded to match on-screen notes the player must hit.

Players may also choose from 27 different fat-guy characters who can be customized with Alpine hats, epaulets, and a mustache editor with a wide array of options.

A gamer plays with a special wireless version of the sousaphone controller, meant to increase ease of play.Hendleman admitted that the $345 retail price might be a bit steep for many consumers. She also conceded that Activision may have erred by not releasing the game between Memorial Day and July 4, the prime parade season in the United States. Even so, she added, Sousaphone Hero contains "more than enough" features to keep gamers absorbed.

"In the career mode, you can rise from playing in park gazebos for church picnics to performing in the halftime show of the Harvard-Yale game," Hendleman said. "If you score enough points, you can unlock the ultimate level: playing in the John Philip Sousa–led Marine Band at Grover Cleveland's inauguration."

"And if you like multiplayer gaming, you're in luck," Hendleman continued. "In Sousaphone Hero's cooperative marching-band mode, as many as 135 of your friends can play simultaneously."

Hendleman also emphasized the "fun" rewards players receive as they become more proficient. If they hit enough correct notes in a row, the on-screen crowd yells "huzzah" and "bully," and the sousaphone controller's spit valve will "drain." Flubbing notes, however, makes the controller "fill" with spit, preventing further play and causing the crowd to throw rotten eggs at the hapless on-screen sousaphonist. If characters earn enough bonus points in career mode, they can spend their Liberty-head nickels on a red, green, or blue "sock" for their sousaphone's bell, or an invigorating chunk of peanut brittle.

Response to Sousaphone Hero on video-gaming message boards has been tepid at best.

That controller is like 100 pounds even though its [sic] only plastic," wrote mastagamer457, a moderator on one Sousaphone Hero message thread. "I think I screwed up my shoulder pretty bad."

  "I played the career mode for three hours and kept feeling like I was playing the same annoying circus tune over and over," kiLLlah_steVe of Columbus, OH wrote. "On one song, you're forced to play the same two notes back and forth for 96 measures."

Others have complained that the third valve is used only at the expert level, that even proficient players only score a maximum of 60 points per song, and that the "oompah" meter stays the same shade of gray even if every note is hit. Some also reported that, if not cleaned regularly, the plastic mouthpiece gets crusty.

Professional sousaphone player Eric Winkler of New Orleans called the game "laughably amateurish" and "nothing like" the actual sousaphone-playing experience. "The fingering's completely different, for starters," he said.

Due to the poor response to Sousaphone Hero, Activision has halted development of spin-off games Cymbal Hero, Glockenspiel Hero, and Steam Calliope Hero.

What the fuck (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159928)

Exec #1: We're not administering one of our projects properly Exec #2: BLAST IT WITH PISS AND KILL IT WITH FIRE

I stopped buying them when... (2)

necronom426 (755113) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159974)

they locked my save game file, so I couldn't back it up.

I'd bought GH 1, 2, 3, then World Tour. When my PS3 WT save couldn't be backed up I was so annoyed I hardly played it, and totally lost interest in it. As far as I'm concerned they shot themselves in the foot with that one, and I'm always wary if buying Activision games now.

FreeStyleGames (1)

danielrendall (521737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35159998)

I have friends who work for FreeStyleGames. They found out last night via the Internet that they were probably going to be made redundant today. In my humble opinion, that kind of treatment from Activision is pretty disgraceful.

Activision Axed Guitar Hero Slowly Over Five Years (4, Insightful)

mrspecialhead (211339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160012)

That's what happens when you rapid-fire iterate on new content in the same template with no significant innovations for extended periods of time.

Sad thing is, from a business perspective, they did a great job and probably wouldn't change a thing if they could go back and do it over. At least not besides somehow managing to get those significant innovations magically and without significant investment to impact their bottom line in the short term.

Okay Harmonix, that one's done. What's the next cool design epiphany?

Re:Activision Axed Guitar Hero Slowly Over Five Ye (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160596)

That's a bit just, yet a bit unfair at the same time. There's was a major change half way through where the music stopped being .... crap and started being recorded from the original tapes making it sound genuine. It was a leap forward for Guitar Hero In some cases like Metallica Guitar Hero actually had the best mastered version of a Metallica song around. Much better than the raped CD release which was compressed to the point of distortion and just gave people listening brain damage. That said after their move to real music they milked it to death. I mean an entire Guitar Hero dedicated just to Metallica, and entire one dedicated just to Van Halen, and one for the Beatles too? I prefer some variety when I play.

As for the next cool design epiphany. I'm eagerly waiting for the Guitar Pro [engadget.com] from Harmonix. Your choice of either a 102 button Fender Mustang replica controller, or an actual Fender Stratocaster that plugs into the console and allows you to play properly.

Good! Guitar Hero is for faggots, anyway. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161186)

It's just as dumb as Dance Dance Revolution. There's nothing more pathetic than watching some pasty slob hop around on a dance pad with a blank stare on his face.

Looking forward to the next thing (2)

Skuto (171945) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160142)

When I got a Wii, the first thing I ran out to buy for it was Guitar Hero. I'd seen the Youtube movies, and I knew I wanted it. And boy, did I enjoy playing it!

Compared to learning to play a real guitar, Guitar Hero is way easier, gives faster feedback, and much better results. Of course it's nowhere close to the real thing, but for people who have no time, patience or talent to play an instrument (that's the majority of us, right?) it's just a brilliant game that gives one the feeling of playing a real instrument in a band.

Lack of innovation killed it off. A deserved end. But I look forward to what the next thing is an innovative developer can come up with. If you can make us lazy, talentless bums get a glimpse of what it is to be a superhero (like CoD gives you the impression of being a supersoldier without the unpleasantries of getting your legs blown off by a mine), I'll gladly put down hard cash to buy your game. And maybe, *one* of the sequels, too :)

Re:Looking forward to the next thing (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160378)

If you can make us lazy, talentless bums get a glimpse of what it is to be a superhero (like CoD gives you the impression of being a supersoldier without the unpleasantries of getting your legs blown off by a mine), I'll gladly put down hard cash to buy your game. And maybe, *one* of the sequels, too :)

City of Heroes [cityofheroes.com] ?

Re:Looking forward to the next thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161260)

CoD not CoH.

Re:Looking forward to the next thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161734)

Perhaps you'd be interested in this product? http://www.realdoll.com/ [realdoll.com]

Always boring. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160274)

I remember playing GH in a PS3, dont remember which version. Its was insanely fun for the first hour. It was fun during the second hour. And I was bored at the beggining of the third hour. And the only reason it was fun at first was because I was not playing alone.

All this, and never the music we really wanted (1, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160424)

When they started doing Guitar Hero (this band) and Rock Band (that other band), I had hopes that they would pick up some of the talented bands that I really wanted - in particular Dire Straits. Instead we got Green Day and Metallica. If they had done an all Dire Straits release I would have been the first in line at the store to buy it; I want to use a plastic toy instrument to emulate real musicians, not lame sell-outs.

Re:All this, and never the music we really wanted (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160604)

If they had done an all Dire Straits release I would have been the first in line at the store to buy it

Actually, it takes at least 2 people to make a line, so you wouldn't be the first in line....you'd be the only one waiting for it.

Re:All this, and never the music we really wanted (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160794)

Only sellouts sucking RIAA cock were eligible to apply. NAPSTER BAAAAAAD. Green Day started spitting on fans when they went major. Seriously fucking glad I saw them open for Bad Religion before Dookie dropped. Pun intended.

Re:All this, and never the music we really wanted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161148)

Every time I hear Green Day on the radio I always want to give that horrible lead "singer" a box of tissues and tell him to learn how to blow his nose before he records a song.

You will be missed. (4, Funny)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160498)

It is a sad day, guitar hero singlehandedly made the concept of being in a band cool. Before that game professional and talented amateurs alike were resigned to a sad lonely existence where they would be constantly scorned by women and derided by their peers.

Re:You will be missed. (0)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160950)

Wow, get out of your basement much? Which band were you in?

I remember being in a band in high-school in the 80s: partying and chicks were abundant, to say the least. If you were in a band, and you knew how to play well, you were automatically cool (unless you played uncool music like obscure ballads from the 1940s, lounge or marching music, or any genre represented by a Theramin or Wendy Carlos).

By contrast, playing Guitar Hero made you look like a geek. Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Guitar Hero--it brought so many memories; but it was still something I would not talk about in public.

Now, DJ'ing in the 80s was even better: no band-mates to bog you down, and a private booth to boot! But I wouldn't touch DJ Hero with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

            -dZ.

Re:You will be missed. (2)

gravyface (592485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161176)

*whooosh*

Re:You will be missed. (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161756)

OMG! I can't believe I missed that. Sorry.

        dZ.

Re:You will be missed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161182)

Searching for sarcasm detector.

Sarcasm detector not found.

Do you want to try looking for sarcasm detector again?

Re:You will be missed. (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161238)

Yah, musicians don't get any chicks.. I remember in highschool I couldn't get any tail until I gave up guitar and bought a graphing calculator

really? (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160528)

THIS.... this is the "new day music died"? I felt pretty sick watching the superbowl half time show (i didn't have control of the remote, damn inlaws) or even some pop singer barfing her way through the national anthem at the same event. Every time i turn on our local radio stations i realize that music is dead, but some game not selling well, that's your sign huh?

Re:really? (2)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161014)

who woulda thought the SUPERBOWL would sell out? I remember the days when you would watch the Superbowl to see the fine showcase of indie/underground talent.. Now its so commercial...

Waste of talent, time and money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35160548)

So, the past five years, Activision literally flooded the market with a new fully priced GH game every six months, made loads of money selling overpriced plastic toys alongside. The only novelty they got into the series was copying Rock Band's 4 player mode (and open bass notes, WOW). And now they pretend to be surprised because people have had enough of this. I loved Guitar Hero, feared right from the third one that the franchise would be milked to death, but witnessing how they turned a fun gaming concept into this commercial waste is really saddening.

That is all fine and dandy... (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35160914)

...but if they cancel heroin hero I will FREAK OUT!

Market over-saturation (1)

chiph (523845) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161112)

Just too many "Hero" games in too short a time period. IMO, Activision did it to themselves.

Perhaps... (1)

dan12970 (1437619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161454)

Perhaps the choice to eliminate PS2 from the newer releases hurt as much if not more than the declining interest. Let's face it, you don't need a high-end console to follow a Guitar Hero/Rock band game. ...and, yes i know the PS2 is a dead system, but some of us simply can't buy a new console every few years.

It's funny that they can't make these profitable (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161478)

these games were Maddon grade shovelware. Same graphics with minor updates & new songs. If I had to guess, the RIAA wanted too big a piece of the pie and the margins got too slim for Activision...
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