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RIP: Guitar Hero

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Technical Articles (Views: 2661)
Corporate America used to be about rewarding its best employees and weeding out the bad ones. This is the simple law, only the strong survive.

More and more stories like this are popping up, and the latest seems to be from Activision. The company that they had purchased, RedOctane, who most notably produced Guitar Hero, and the plastic controllers for it, has basically been disbanded with their operations reporting directly to Activision.

Activision has been around for a long time - I can remember them back in the old Atari 2600 days.

I want to focus primarily on Guitar Hero, which is the main reason for my blog. Guitar Hero's concept was great - a lot of people loved it, and it made a lot of money. It also was an easy concept, being that you simply have to hit a button on a controller (or multiple buttons) at the right time to keep up with a song.

So, Guitar Hero 5 got some mixed reactions. It didn't sell like Activision hoped, and during that time saturated the market with other titles like Band Hero and DJ Hero.

What could they have done differently? Instead of flooding the market with more of the same old crap, or giving away Guitar Hero Van Halen for free, they could have just built on to their existing game. They could have added more content, more song titles, and charged for the music that they liked.

A completely new concept? Somehow, Guitar Hero has to be developed for content. So why not have Guitar Hero have a training mode, where it listens to an existing song and tries to create new song content from it? Now that would be innovative, and would sell - more than all the stuff they saturated the market with.

So, this title that has made tons of money - for the trouble, RedOctane is kicked to the curb, their employees basically told, "Thanks for making us all this money, now pack your things and leave. Security is on its way, no kidding, leave now."

This is the truth to business that the CEO doesn't take blame for a company's failures - the scapegoat always comes from below. There is a new Activision employee now responsible for the Guitar Hero product. There is no loyalty to employees, as again it was proven here.

Look towards a lot less in the way of Guitar Hero products in 2010.


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