Considering the franchise's sliding sales, it wasn't shocking to learn that Activision had disbanded its Guitar Hero business unit and decided to not release a new title this year. The fate of the series hung in the balance, and the publisher was quiet on any solid plans going forward.
But thanks to Activision Blizzard CEO (and movie star) Bobby Kotick, we can rest easy knowing that a new Guitar Hero is on its way. It just might not look or feel like the Guitar Hero we've come to know.
"We're going to go back to the studios and we're going to use new studios and reinvent Guitar Hero," he told Forbes, "And so that's what we're doing with it."
When we'll see the results of this reinvention plan are unclear, but one has to hope that Activision will take more care with the franchise's next run. Even Kotick is willing to admit where they went wrong, and he blames it partially on being so damned pumped about the DJ Hero franchise. He tells Forbes that the company was "so excited about going down this new direction with DJ Hero" that it may have "abandoned a bit of the innovation that was required in the Guitar Hero franchise."
You think? While Neversoft's titles were never bad, it seemed the studio could barely keep up with the Guitar Hero machine year after year. With a requirement to deliver one or more titles every 12 months, we saw incremental updates, and some of the weirdest and most off-putting design decisions the series had ever seen. (Demons, guys? Really?)
The full interview with Kotick can be read online, entitled "How To Be An Innovator." Yeah, that may sound odd to you, considering who we're tailing about here. But it's an interesting read, for sure.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick: How To Be An Innovator [Forbes]