Yesterday we learned the rather stunning news that Activision was ending the Guitar Hero franchise, along with True Crime: Hong Kong. Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained the reasoning behind the cull, which CVG has transcribed.
“After two years of steeply declining sales, we’ve made the decision to close our Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on our previously playing Guitar Hero title for 2011,” said Hirshberg. “Despite a remarkable 92 rating on DJ Hero 2, a widely well-regarded Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as well as the 90-plus rated release from our most direct competitor, demand for peripheral-based music games declined at a dramatic pace.
“Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply cannot make these games profitably based on current economics and demand. Instead, what we’ll do is focus our time and energies on marketing and supporting our strong catalogue of titles and downloadable content, especially to new consumers, as the install base for hardware continues to grow.”
The executive also said that True Crime was murdered because it conflicted with Hirshberg’s desire to “provide gamers with the highest possible creative quality.” All told, shocking news indeed. I reckon Activision could’ve gotten another 256 titles out of each of those games, and we still never got Guitar Hero: ELO.