What a difference a few years makes. Four years ago, there was no bigger fad in music than the Guitar Hero fascination. Everybody either owned the game themselves, or would constantly hang out with friends who had it. Bars had Guitar Hero nights. Musical instrument sales surged from a renewed interest from the younger generations, and guitar lesson inquiries at TakeLessons and other online teaching sites skyrocketed. Dragonforce got a whole career in the United States strictly off their track being the hardest song to beat, and just like that it's all done.
Yesterday, Activision, the makers of the game, announced that the franchise would be discontinued 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.”
No more Guitar Hero games! Good riddance. Let's be honest here, how much more game could they suck out of the Guitar Hero teet? Where was there left to go? I've been writing for over a year about how over it I am, and most of you agreed with me. The fad is over. I still think the game is a great way for people who have never picked up a musical instrument before to ease into playing, but there is no need for new yearly iterations. There is no need to be sad though, everybody involved made their money and cashed out.
The future doesn't look too bright for Rock Band either, as the development company Harmonix was recently sold by MTV Games (the distributor of the game) for $20 million, with Harmonix also recently dealing with some heavy layoffs. Ouch!