Guitar Villain? Drum Villain? Shark Jumping Villain?

MTV acquires Harmonix. Future Guitar Hero games are possibly handed over to Neversoft for development. An eight-year-old owns “Psychobilly Freakout” on expert (rumor — he’s also having sex with your girlfriend). What other weird, potentially series-crushing developments can possibly happen next?

How about Activision trademarking “Guitar Villain” and “Drum Villain”? According to GameSpot, the application covers “computer game software in a variety of forms, including downloadable games, games sold together with controllers, arcade games, and games sold with electronic toy guitars.” Oh dear.

While no further information has been revealed on what (if anything) these “villains” mean (Activision refused to comment; Red Octane maintains they’re hard at work on the 360 version of Guitar Hero II), it’s hard not to feel that the series is dangerously close to jumping the shark. With the success of the Guitar Hero franchise, it would be crazy to think that the series would go untainted. But this soon?

I would eat dog food out of a toilet bowl once a week if it meant seeing new Guitar Hero content more frequently than once a year, but it’s still hard to shake these bad vibes I’m getting.

What, if anything, would kill the series for you?

Nick Chester