(Updated 4:20 PM) Activision/Blizzard announced it is dropping the in-development Guitar Hero game planned for 2011. The company is also disbanding its Guitar Hero division, best described by the company itself in the following statement:
“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."
Activision was clear that there would be no music games from the company this fiscal year. That means no Guitar Hero, and no DJ Hero. During the investment call, the company also said it plans to lay off approximately 500 employees. But does this mean the franchise is truly dead, or will we see a newly re-vamped game in 2012 or 2013? According to Wedbush Securities' analyst Michael Pachter, a return of the Guitar Hero franchise is unlikely in the near future.
"I don't think it's going to be revamped," Pachter said. "It would only happen if there's a whole new console refresh, but if it's an Xbox 360 with a two-terabyte hard-drive and an 802.11 N, who cares? You don't need a new Guitar Hero for that. I think Guitar Hero is one of those things you don't need to buy more than once."
I've contacted Activision about this, but as yet, haven't heard back from the company on an official basis, but this blog post from Activision's Dan Amrich takes a different tact from Pachter's:
"For a while there I couldn’t drown out the cries of gamers on forums, blogs, and Twitter saying GH should take some time off, and from all appearances, that’s what this is. Step back, let it breathe for a while, don’t make any major plans, and see what happens in the future. I’m very okay with that.
Chapter closed? Sure, okay. Book burned? I doubt it."
So what do you guys think? Is Guitar Hero, as a franchise, dead, or is it just sleeping for a bit?