back to article No new strings for Guitar Hero

Continued declined in the music games genre has led Activision Blizzard to do the unthinkable: development of its Guitar Hero games has been discontinued and the business unit disbanded. Announcing results that fell short of expectations, the company still made a net loss for the fourth quarter but reported strong performance …


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  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Not surprising

    Well it was a bit of a gimmick! I mean, how many times can you laugh at Mum and Dad air-guitar to Metallica's Enter Sandman or freaking G'n'R Sweet Child o' Mine, before it ceases to be funny anymore?

    So can the people like me, who treasure rock and metal, have our music back now you've finished being stupid with it?

  2. EddieElche

    "Continued declined in the music games genre"

    Say What????

    Rock Band 3 seems to be going from strength to strength with massive demand for the keyboard and now the new Squeir real string midi interfaced guitar hitting the UK in April.

    Maybe it's just those music games that failed to evolve?

    Cool pun on this seen on another site "Guitar Hero Cancelled - Reason to fret?"

    1. Annihilator

      "Real" guitar

      The RB3 guitar is interesting, I agree. But it's at this point that GH/RB fans will realise that what they've been doing till now is *nothing* like playing a real guitar.

      However if they put in the same effort, they may find they learn a real instrument. The paybacks won't be as immediate though, which may put off a lot of people.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Unable to play

        And there is the assumption that all those who want to use these games are all right-handed.

        (What happened to the Casio MIDI guitar and MIDI horn?)

        1. Toastan Buttar

          Casio MIDI horn

          My saxophonist friend used the Casio MIDI horn for years until his untimely death. I great example of a cheap but very musically useful device.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          All of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games have the option to switch into 'lefty mode', for those of us of the sinister persuasion.

          1. Annihilator


            "All of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games have the option to switch into 'lefty mode', for those of us of the sinister persuasion"

            Erm, yes, but we're talking about the "real" guitar, which won't allow for that. You'd have to restring the guitar (probably with new ones due to the different lengths required), flip the string guide (if it's not fixed in place), adjust the bridge and the tuners, and hope the pickups aren't tuned to the expected strings. In electric models, the guitar is now upside down, and usually rather uncomfortable, not to mention the machine heads are on the underside now.

            And that's before even getting into the complications of the midi pickup interface, or hoping the game copes with it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh thank heavens

    There are far too many kids out there who think that Guitar Hero is actually guitar playing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      On the flip side...

      My daughter (and me, obviously) were really into GH, so much so that she actually wanted a real electric guitar - which she now has - and is taking proper electric guitar lessons (and I've been playing with it too, if I'm honest). So whilst you are right, it also can lead some kids into the real thing (I just hope I can use it to 'adjust' her current 'music' taste so that she starts to appreciate the likes of Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Peter Green).

  4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Any word on the demise of Rock Band?

    The people want to know.

  5. Robert Heffernan

    Lost opportunity

    Just think of all the innovation that could have came from Guitar Hero when you combine it with the Kinect on the 360... Air Guitar Hero anyone?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I mean really

    How many drunks and crackheads can stand up and pretend to sing?

    1. HFoster


      How many "people" entered Pop X Idol Factor this year?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Bobby Kotick is going to run the company to the ground

    It's sad, but true.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You can almost hear Kotick's sinister chuckle coming from the shadows.....

      'The hate is swelling in you now. Take your guitar hero controller. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.'

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    Seems to me that could have been the problem right there. There's not the huge numbers of 3D models, textures, level design, and on and on of the typical AAA title here. That seems like an awfully large number of people working on a game of this type, I imagine when they were raking in the scratch it was easy to decide to just keep adding people.

    1. Shaun 1

      Not quite

      "Its ongoing restructuring is expected to result in 500 job losses"

      Not just on this game, 500 in total

  9. Mr Brush

    It died a while ago

    They've just been flogging the corpse ever since.

    I loved GH & GH2, a genuinely new and cool idea. However, as soon as the DLC for GH2 surfaced with stupid inflated prices, the flogging of the cash cow became clear. GH3 was crap, GHWT was simply a bland rock band clone and I haven't even bothered looking at GH5 or GH:WoR.

  10. mike panero

    Does GH phone home?

    I know not all games systems are plugged into the internet but I wold suspect the number that aren't to be quite low.

    Therefore if GH just said "Hi its me" to its maker everytime it ran you could build up a very detailed picture of a cultural artifact's journey from birth thru this-weeks-thing and onto so-last-year.

  11. DrStrangeLug

    Warriors of Rock failed for a reason

    Its called the Pro Guitar Controller.

    Frankly anybody interested in these games is salviating over the pro guitar and GH had a bad year with warrior of rock.

  12. Keith_C

    Good laugh after the pub

    This comic seems appropriate right now:

  13. Valerion
    Thumb Up

    There was one good point

    It got my 13 year old occasionally daughter listening to decent music, rather than the Capital FM crap she usually listens to.

    1. Jason Togneri


      "t got my 13 year old occasionally daughter listening to decent music, rather than the Capital FM crap she usually listens to."

      Bonus points for good music, negative points for the confusion of your "occasionally daughter". Is she not your daughter all the time then?

      1. Valerion

        Yes, I am a twat.

        Ahem, I may have added the word "occasionally" after writing the rest of the post, just before hitting Submit, and slightly after disengaging my brain. Please feel free to re-arrange the sentance to make more sense.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Yes, I am a twat.

          They could all have done that quite easily. They just wanted to make a FUNNY. Indulge them. It probably stops them from going on kill-crazy rampages with chainsaws.

  14. Keith Crooks
    Paris Hilton

    The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long ...

    Maybe the series would have lasted a little longer if they hadn't over-saturated the market with constant 'sequels' and cheap, cash-in, band-specific offshoot games and put better songs in the actual games rather than saving the best songs for overly-priced DLC.

    Or maybe they did the 'right thing' milking it for all it was worth before it got boring.

    Paris because she likes 'milking it' for all it's worth!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those who are about to rock...

    Not surprised that GH is going to die a death, it had just got stagnant and failed to innovate where Rock Band - especially with the pro controllers - did. Although I'd fully agree that even with the pro-guitar controller it's not an exact, identical experience to playing a real guitar. However, that's missing the point, I don't think that it was ever intended to be - for me it serves as a cool practice aid and introduction to playing a real guitar.

    And if it gets people interested in 'real' music and inspired and confident enough to pick up a real instrument then what's not to love?

  16. Antony Shepherd

    Click click clickety click

    So farewell Guitar Hero.

    You were like 'Simon', but with a better soundtrack.

  17. The Indomitable Gall

    "Development" cancelled.

    How much development does GH need? Surely it just needs a new paint job and a few new tunes every couple of years to continue coining it in...?

  18. Paul Hates Handles

    Not surprising

    Ever since they took over with GH3 the franchise has got worse and worse, while Rock Band (made up from the original GH devs) has got better and better. The only good offshoot of this franchise was DJ Hero - all the other crappy pop variants are just awful.

  19. D. M

    GH will be missed

    GH Metallica hit the top in term of game play. There was no reason for their later crap (both crap song selection and game play).

  20. Graham Bartlett


    Also the YouRock guitar. Like the Fender controller, it produces MIDI output. Unlike the Fender controller, it also gives you an instrument jack output which does actual guitar and synth noises, so that as well as being a MIDI controller (or game controller) it can also be a fully-fledged musical instrument. This thing is *so* on my shopping list.

  21. andy gibson


    I'm only an occasional gamer - as someone fast approaching 40 I don't have time for COD and all that malarkey - and really enjoy GH and Rock band. GH has a much better interface but Rock Band continually updates and adds new songs in the music store, so there's plenty of new stuff to download.

  22. gooeygooeyworms


    I was looking forward to Harpsicord Hero :(

  23. Daniel B.

    The circle of game life

    So, it went the way of the Dance Dance Revolution, Pump It Up, Dance Freaks, and the Karaoke thingy that came before GH. No surprise there ... the games are usually fads, and while they do have a good run, they will eventually be set aside after some time. Pimping out the brand with a zillion releases doesn't help any franchise, either: Street Fighter 2 and Duke Nukem 3D can attest to that. (By the time Street Fighter 3 came out, everyone was playing King of Fighters...)

  24. gratou
    Thumb Down

    GH hardware was crap.

    We didn't play much at home (like a few hours a week), but I had to resolder the wire under some drums, take the guitar apart to tweak its sensors and switches, and still the guitar would miss or add notes/clicks.

    It was fun to start with, but frustrating when we got better. We never pretended to play the guitar (I was on the drums anyways, and sucked :), just to have a bit of good time ... till we stopped bothering because of the frustration.

  25. Sam Therapy

    Hopefully some of the GH players will take up a real guitar now

    Instead of pratting about with a silly little toy.

  26. HFoster

    Mind you...

    I hear DJ Hero is also on its way out? Good riddance.

    IMHO, pretending to play the guitar, or pretending to DJ compares to doing the real thing the way masturbation compares to having a real sex life. Sure, it feels good, and you would do it all day if you could, but you're ultimately only jerking yourself around.

  27. D. M

    Real guitar you say?

    I did pick up real guitar. Only I'm not good at it (maybe because I don't practice). And my hands are not exactly "normal" (I have short little finger, which is a disability for guitar player).

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