Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Guitar Hero Is Dead. Long Live Guitar Hero!


Some sad news: Activision Blizzard has canceled the long-running Guitar Hero series, citing declines in the "music genre" (not to mention the music industry). The Journal has the company's stock numbers, which don't look great, but the publisher was still the top video game publisher in North America and Europe. Two huge titles from the Blizzard division boosted the company last year, but this cancellation speaks of the eroding interest in what has been a five-year marathon. In the end, Guitar Hero seemed to be supplanted by the more innovative Rock Band series, which sought to mimic real musicianship in its third installment.

I had many fond memories playing Guitar Hero 2 during college. I started out not knowing that you could hold down the "frets" while strumming, causing me to promptly fail "Message in a Bottle." But I eventually wised up and it was quite a thrill to beat "Free Bird" on Hard. Sadly, I would become more of a Rock Band fan when it was released, although I never did manage to beat "Green Grass and High Tides" on Expert.

Perhaps this decision will prompt some fans to pick up real guitars (from experience, I can say they aren't easy - I've since switched to trying to relearn piano), but we'll always have the memories.

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