Activision Ends GUITAR HERO Franchise
Activision's Quarterly Earnings Report was released today, and had a somewhat surprising business announcement within: Guitar Hero is no more. From the report:"At the same time, 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." Indeed, the Guitar Hero franchise and the music genre in general have been languishing. Just this winter, Viacom sold off Harmonix to a company configured from within the developer, ending their hand in the Rock Band franchise. According to VGChartz.com, a popular video game sales tracking site, the latest GH, Warriors of Rock, sold only around 1.3 million copies worldwide on all three platforms, Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3. Compared to their best seller, Guitar Hero III, which sold around 15.5 million copies on four platforms, that is a massive failure. Rock Band 3 is similarly low in sales, with only 1.12 million worldwide copies on the three home consoles, while the Green Day feature game sold less than 1 million copies in 2010 as well. No official word from Activision on whether this includes all games in their "Hero" franchises (and we haven't received a response to our request for clarification as of press time), but it does sound like it. DJ Hero 2 sold .94 million copies, far behind the 2.46 million of the first game. Activision's Report's future also announced the cancelation of True Crime: Hong Kong, while focusing on the future of their two largest franchises, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. In addition to a new Call of Duty game in 2011, a new digital community will be launched. Activision is also moving forward as publisher for Bungie, the creative force behind the Halo games, and their new property.
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