“The next Guitar Hero will have to bring with it some big innovations”

Recently, Industry Gamer sat down with Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing to discuss various topics one of which was the declining sales of Guitar Hero (and yes Rock Band).

Here is a quote below that can reaffirm that Activision is not “giving up” on Guitar Hero.

Hirshberg also acknowledged to us that Activision is facing a great challenge now in trying to reinvigorate the music/guitar game market. The next Guitar Hero will have to bring with it some big innovations.

“It’s no secret that not just Guitar Hero, but also Rock Band, and the music category in general, do not have the same mass appeal today that they did a few years ago. That said, I think that we would be foolish to not try and build on the strength of the Guitar Hero brand, because as you said, it’s a pretty strong brand with great recognition and great likeability, and there’s a lot to work with there. I think the road to rejuvenating that category goes through innovation. The premise of Guitar Hero… that everyone has an inner rock star, it’s something that we’ve all done forever: some version of singing into a hairbrush, or holding a tennis racket like a guitar, or singing karaoke, or singing into the bathroom mirror. We all do that,” Hirshberg said.

He continued, “I think a lot of video game genres that have had tremendous staying power have a fantasy-fulfillment element at their core, whether it’s driving the fast car, or participating in professional sports, or going into battle. People don’t get to do this in everyday lives. So I think the core premise and the core insight at the heart of the Guitar Hero franchise is still very relevant. I just think we need to escalate the experience for people and innovate. I think the genre is still fairly new, and so I think it’s probably time for us to really look at what the next level looks like for that genre.”

Source: Industry Gamer (Via @archie4208)

The article also touches on the possible acquisition of Harmonix if you are interested in that.

What big innovation do you think awaits us in the next Guitar Hero? Real Guitar, Keyboard, Kinect/Move integration? Share your thoughts!

This entry was posted in Activision and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to “The next Guitar Hero will have to bring with it some big innovations”

  1. Ed Tanguy says:

    Here’s a crazy idea, dissagree is you want but, you know the fret buttons? well, like you can whammy to down-pitch the notes… imagine if the buttons were just slightly a little like a light switch and you could “bend the strings” and up-pitch the notes? … nah… it probably wouldn’t work….

    orororor, maybe you could have a blank disc… but with credit for 100 GH DLC songs, and along with that, bring, like, 300 new DLC tracks to choose out of… and then people could choose what songs they wanted…. well… people without the net (all three of them) wouldn’t be very happy :/ ….

    i have no idea what it could be :s

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention “The next Guitar Hero will have to bring with it some big innovations” | TheHeroFeed -- Topsy.com

  3. Fork1 says:

    Fact is, most people only need 1 guitar hero game, maybe 2 if theyre a fan of metallica or aerosmith etc. They only buy these games for parties. They don’t want another game, they only want more songs, thats why dlc is the better option. adding keyboards is a good idea too, harmonix seems to know whats best for this brand (they invented it afterall) which pains me to say. GH6 was one last shot to see if the trick to gh3’s success was setlist, when in reality, it was just hype driven from the fun that was gh2 versus the setlist that drove people to it. GH4 lived off of gh3s hype only to be a disappointment and barely any different, people don’t want to grind songs, they dont want a new game with the exact same thing. New instruments; excellent idea. new songs with the same ol, still pretty good. a new game with almost no difference thats practically one big dlc pack. Boring. releasing 8 titles in 2009 or whatever it was just turned soooo many people away from this, and like it or not harmonix, rock band and guitar hero are the “same game” to the public eye, so neversoft screwed you as well. People look at it as like 15 guitar hero games even if its 8 gh games and 7 rock band games. dlc is where you could still make money, for the games people already own. They don’t want a guitar hero 7 unless you come up with some SERIOUS innovation here. I can’t even think of what you could do; but I guess kinect offers some hope.

    • Elliott says:

      “GH4 lived off of gh3s hype only to be a disappointment and barely any different”

      I don’t agree with that at all- certainly didn’t disappoint in sales.

      • Fork1 says:

        it’s sales were what i meant by lived off the hype, as 90% of its sales were within the first week. very little word of mouth lead to the sale of that game, everyone just thought it was gh3 again.

        • Ed Tanguy says:

          in my opinion, gameplay greatly improved and setlist became A LOT more diverse…

          • Joescorpion says:

            I personally think that ghwt and 5 were both toal crap. The setlist was way to diverse and the songs werent much fun to play the setlist will make the difference. If the game was all punk, hard rock, metal and classic rock and had lots of new innovations people will buy it. Because people want to play music that rocks but also have fun with it. Rock Band 3 totally sucked in comparison to warriors of rock due to the setlist being total shit. Warriors of rock was a great game just lacked innovation

  4. foreverBK says:

    Its really hard to think of anything else that could be done different. Personally I think they should really get in your face. What I mean by that is quit with the obscure venues and create a real serious game. Great music with a little variety but with overhauled graphics that look insanely real with realistic venues. I really like the whole small venues like in a basement or a club and then seeing realistic huge venues. I prefer Guitar Hero over Rockband, but that outdoor stage Rockband 3 has looks just like if I were at a concert for real. I guess all in all I think it would go well if the next game actually focused on “You”. You were everything.

    • Gabe Felix says:

      People don’t care about how realistic it is. They care about the songs, how great they are. In my opinion, they should bring Bon Jovi back in the next Guitar hero. I mean, would you play Guitar Hero or Rock Band just for how realistic it looks or for the songs they have?

  5. Leonardo Storti says:

    this is why I was faithful to Guitar Hero, Rock Band made it big and they were innovative as hell, adding realism to the game was a great idea that is why we have Rock Band 3. I don’t see anything else that can be added to this game there is simply nothing else to be added…I don’t think there is any possible way to go beyond real instruments Rock Band has reached their limit seriously. People got turned off by Guitar Hero because the gameplay never changed while Rock Band 3 got such a hit because they offered a totally new reinvented gameplay, Guitar Heros advantage was that they kept that arcade feel into the game, the dificulty, the storyline, the gameplay and graphics. While on the other hand, Rock Band was focusing on realism, music and features. This really just falls into preference, people just preffered one game over the other. Rock Band was the first to hit a huge success and will be the first to fall, Guitar Hero might still stay alive because they haven’t changed anything and people are just waiting on Guitar Hero to release something totally and completely new because that is what people want, Guitar Hero just needs inovation. If it is one thing I know is that I never follow the trend, I always go opposite this is why I have Guitar Hero as my main music game and not Rock Band, it’s usually the weakest product that eventually in its life time will outsell or completely destroy the dominant product. I believe that Guitar Hero will surpass Rock Band at some point just give it time, Guitar Hero will not die that easily it’s in the hands of a new company now, Vicarious Visions, lets just see how inovative they can be.

  6. Game!Ov3r says:

    I agree with the guy that said we only need one game and just feed us DLC packs… I would have to see what the numbers are for online users of these games first though. Maybe once or twice a year give us a huge DLC pack that represents a “new” disc and give us some free new downloadable venues or pieces to build your own venue. Let people shape their own Guitar Hero experience, make it kinda like a Myspace type home page where you can access other peoples venuse and either play against them or jam out with them there. Have it to where you can create leagues and play through seasons agaisnt people (taking a page from Madden since they are a proven franchise year after year) My wife is an avid Yoville player and i cant believe the amount of stuff she does on there and how many people play that. I think an open world “home” would be cool also. Create your own rocker and try to hook up with people to start a band and try to get gigs through town. Activision could have the World of Warcraft guys help out with this idea.

  7. Saiya says:

    I don’t really anything new to be added in GH, I’d only like it if they slowed it down and not release too many gh games in a short span of time.
    I’d like my releases every 1 and a half year, with maybe one gh [specific band] (if they had plans for one)released in between that time frame.

    • Saiya says:

      Just give us weekly DLCs till the next not so soon installment

      • Saiya says:

        Oh yea, I’d also like to have some dlc stages from ghwt and gh5 too lol
        GHWoR only has metal stages, it’s cool and all but I also liked the ones from the previous installments

  8. The D says:

    I agree! In the next game, make the character you instead of other people

    • Elliott says:

      I also agree that they should abandon the characters from Guitar Hero and perhaps the art style altogether. It just seems to be holding the series back.

      • DucksFAN says:

        Do you think about what you’re writing before you write it? The ART STYLE is holding the whole series back, huh. Yeah right. At least GH’s graphics are great (I personally love the art style…), unlike Rock Band’s. Seriously though, RB has realistic characters and venues, but the graphics are terrible. Realistic and ugly, or “Bad” art style and beautiful?
        Edge to Guitar Hero. Besides, the most important part of the game is mechanics, and in a music game the setlist. Not the art style. An art style CAN’T hold a series back, that’s just stupid.

        • Elliott says:

          I don’t agree with it personally but it seems to be something that gamejournos mull and lament over every review. It’s time to put Judy, Axl, and Lars to rest.

          Lay them to rest >_>

          • DucksFAN says:

            I call that being cheap.

          • monkey says:

            well I believe the characters used in all of the GH games might not be used anyway, I mean, Axel’s bio in WoR says “without doubt this rocking lout returns for one more bout.” so if he does come back, then it’s pretty lame but I don’t care… it’s all about the music.. and I for one don’t really want to see much old music at all.. WoR is a sweet game but I really hated playing Austin’s setlist… I don’t really enjoy playing old-styled music, it’s too boring.. They need to realise that old farts don’t play this game.. and probably never will.
            They just need to focus on the music, don’t be stingy with it, put at least 100 songs on.. I like all kinds of music besides boring music… so a lot of lively, challenging tunes. And of course, with that needs a lot of DLC.. more enjoyable and varied, I would like to see more Protest the Hero, Beneath the Massacre would be great for drums.. Whatever else I couldn’t give 2 sh!ts. make it more exciting and sweet…

          • Guitarherofan says:

            This is a reply to monkeys comment.

            Not all old music is boring. For example Iron Maiden. I agree that it’s boring to play too easy songs, but not all older music is easy and boring.

          • Gabe Felix says:

            Why would you want to do that? Axel, Judy, Lars, Casey, and Johnny were the main Guitar Hero characters from the very first Guitar Hero. If they took them out it would ruin the series even more!

        • Maztuhmind says:

          the art style in gh has gotten worse through every game that has come out. graphics don’t make a game and adding widescreen bars to the game just became a pain for those who don’t own hdtv’s.

        • Maztuhmind says:

          the art style in gh has gotten worse through every game that has come out since pt 4. graphics don’t make a game and adding widescreen bars to the presentation only made it a pain for those who don’t own hdtv’s.

  9. Jake says:

    Downloadable characters, downloadable maps, and Kinect ability would be all i could ask for for the next game, well for the next game that is not a band game like Van Halen or what have you.

  10. Cicabe says:

    I can’t think of anything they could add that I would want. True, keyboards and real instruments, but I didn’t really want pro guitar/bass for Rock Band, so whatever. Kinect features would leave PS3/Wii in the dust again. I loved GHWOR, but I think GH needs to get its fanbase back with something big.

  11. gordofredito says:

    smells like Pro Mode

  12. PSPCOW says:

    Yeah, GH needs something big. I have to say though, I love playing the ghost notes in “Waiting for the End”. Those ghost notes make it like you’re closer to playing real life drums an feel so natural to pull off.
    GH supporter (and RB) for life

    • foreverBK says:

      I love drumming on Guitar Hero. I think it would be awesome if they created a new drum set. Something that had a few more pads/even more realistic. Its hard to find something that gets me as excited as I was when I found out that GH:Metallica was getting double bass.

  13. The D says:

    No, pro mode is shit

  14. JayJay says:

    I love how most people responding to this article are probably doing it with the mindset of: “Guitar Hero needs to be more like Rock Band in every way in order to be good”, which would kind of make having two competing series pointless if they are both exactly the same.

    I actually like how this guy seems to have his head on straight and realises that they DO need to try to be somewhat innovative in order to continue, BUT Guitar Hero should retain that fun, fantasy element at its core; people should pick up the controller and become a rock star for the short time they play. They should feel AWESOME, not “oh I scored 90%, I guess that’s… OK?”.

    I play Guitar Hero, and by extension music and rhythm games in general, because I want to have fun. I don’t want a soulless jukebox with numbers and percentages; I want to enjoy myself.

    I think that DJ Hero proves that Activision are also capable to taking an old Konami Bemani franchise; this time Beatmania rather than Guitar Freaks and then including Drum Mania, Karaoke Revolution and finally Keyboardmania and adapting it towards American audiences. While DJ Hero isn’t really my thing because of the type music is revolves around, I can at least appreciate how well Activision have developed it towards American and European audiences; something Konami themselves still seem to struggle with.

    Do I know what changes Activision might be planning or how successful they might be? No. Am I at least going to be hopeful and look forward to what future changes we might see? Yes.

  15. PSPCOW says:

    I have stayed with my SD for the moment because it has no lag. I’m trying to save up for a good GAMING HiDef TV. I have recently bought a 350$ HD, but the lag is horrible, especially with GH’s awesome calibration system./sarcasm

    • DucksFAN says:

      My TV has no lag and it is HD. It is a Vizio 47″ HD LCD TV. I’ve never had a problem with Guitar Hero’s calibration. Rock Band is a different story, however. You really haven’t experienced gaming until you’ve played it on a HDTV. (No one take offense to that, it was just a joke.)

  16. Bandfuser and Rocksmither says:

    RB is dead…we play REAL GUITAR games these days.

  17. Mr.Unguided says:

    Add another button on the guitar.

    then people have to buy a new guitar and rehearse the new button!!!

    And the setlist nead to be HEAVY !!!! Not like in GH 4 and 5 ..

    The songs have to be heavy and challenging!!!!

  18. dawg says:

    you should be able to hook your ipod or mp3 player up to your console and play all the songs from your ipod that would be sweet but that would only be on a certain mode because everybody dosent own a ipod

  19. Brandon M. says:

    reply to Bandfuser and Rocksmither
    RB maybe dying but the dlc is a lot better than Rocksmith period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *