Activision Potentially Ends Guitar Hero and DJ Hero

According to their earnings call, Activision has announced significant layoffs at various studios, including FreeStyle Games (DJ Hero developer) and Vicarious Visions (the new Guitar Hero developer).

They also announced the cancellations of numerous projects, including any Hero IP’s that were previously scheduled in 2011. A more formal announcement is scheduled to come out from the earnings call tonight, but as of now, it’s not looking good.

There are reports coming out that Beenox will continue to support the franchise with DLC, which might be the silver lining to this dark cloud. Perhaps we could see more production in the DLC category, which could build upon the already strong Warriors of Rock engine.

Twitter is exploding with a mix of sympathetic and celebratory tweets regarding this news. Rock Band fans who are celebrating this as simply the end of Guitar Hero might not be giving this news the proper weight. This doesn’t just mean the end of Guitar Hero, it also makes the future of Rock Band look hazy as well.

No competition is never a good thing for any company. EA Sports’ Madden NFL series was once a very well respected title within the community. The lack of any real competition drove them to become iterations of the previous entry in the respective franchise and, in turn, pro-football games have suffered greatly because of it. Just keep that in mind, as Rock Band has now monopolized the music game genre as much as Madden has monopolized the football genre. We just hope that Harmonix can keep their bar high.

As for what this means for The Hero Feed, quite simply, we don’t know. We’re going to wait and see what happens regarding the series. Perhaps it will fade away without a trace. Nobody knows. We’ll remain on watch for any news and if this is truly the end, then it was great rocking with you for the short time that we had together.

Update: Dan Amrich (@OneOfSwords) Clarifies


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43 Responses to Activision Potentially Ends Guitar Hero and DJ Hero

  1. Doom878 says:

    I’m a RB fan but own some GH titles. This is not good for our genre.

  2. GHJake says:


  3. xl aerosmash lx says:



  4. Ed Tanguy EWE says:

    This is truly upsetting, but i think if it is true that GH is gone for good, why not spend a little money? e.g CLASSIC tracks like Led Zep DLC? maybe random songs like the F-zero theme? xD
    or even just say – “i’m sorry, did i say no titles? I forgot about GH:RHCP coming soon”
    basically, go out with a bang! πŸ˜€

    Also, how come there has been SO many KISS songs, yet we still haven’t got ‘God Gave Rock abd Roll To You’? πŸ™

  5. King Bobby III says:

    This was long overdue.

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  7. @BrittenKinley says:

    Reading RBA’s comments on this subject made me angry. People celebrating this kind of thing? They’re celebrating a long break of fun games? The hell? Guitar Hero brought us so many things including a digital version of Matthew Bellamy (God bless GH5). With the ample amount of news regarding the Hero franchise, you guys put on a fantastic layed out website. And Elliot Rudner and Brian Shea are some of the coolest people to follow on twitter and I hate to see them face such a thing with this great site.

    • Cactaur says:

      I do hate it when people on RBA rip on Guitar Hero. Each series has its own strengths and weaknesses.

    • Croq says:

      RBA himself did not say anything that should upset anyone (now if you’re referring to the comments section, I agree, some people were insensitive). Regarding RBA, he even stated:

      “It’s obvious that I am a Rock Band fanboy at heart, but as many of the most loyal among us would agree, the original Guitar Hero game gave us our first fix on rhythm gaming, and seeing its demise is very sad, indeed.”

      That’s not what I would call a celebratory statement.

    • Tommy says:

      Elliot and Brian run an AMAZING site!

      As for some of the comments on RBA, it is unfortunate to see what some people say. I have a close friend that worked at BudCat, so I’ve got a slightly closer relationship than just being a player and a fan.

      Never good to see news like this. πŸ™

    • Mark says:

      Please, you’re acting as if GH fanboys wouldn’t do the same if RB got canned. Yeah GH brought us Matt Bellamy, it also ruined Van Halen’s and Aerosmith’s reputation among some of the videogame community. And as much as I loved GH2 and 3 WT and 5 were disappointments. They didn’t innovate in the slightest, if you can say you didn’t see this coming it’s evident you weren’t looking.

      • lolololol says:

        how did it “ruin” Aerosmith’s reputation? By giving them a shitload of money and being the best selling band game of all time?

        • Mark says:

          Glad you asked, by getting negative reviews and resulting in many gamers seeing them as cash whores who don’t care about the game. AND please note I did say “among some of the videogame community”. You might want to read the full thing.

          • Cactaur says:

            The reviews were actually about average. Go look on Metacritic if you don’t believe me. And the band was actually pretty involved in the game, as all of the members did motion capture for authenticity. Joe Perry has been very supportive of Guitar Hero since the beginning. When they were trying to get the master of “Same Old Song and Dance” for GH3, Perry got it for them within a day of them asking.

      • Cactaur says:

        And outselling all their albums?

  8. PSPCOW says:

    I hope the Rock Band fans all burn in HELL FOR ETERNITY!!!!!!

    Aside from that, I have supported Rock Band just as much as GH. Today I will get drunk, and I’m not going to like it. :/

  9. Mccrae says:

    Wasnt this kind of inevatable i mean
    Rock band has all this pro stuff
    Theyve compared the sales of gh6 and rb3
    If they invest on keyboard or real guitar only for gh7 to flop theyre screwed.
    This is sad news for the genre but at least now
    Gh has time to get great new things
    And rb finally get some muse hopefully

  10. kyle says:

    Nothing about Band Hero ending ;D

    • Saiya says:

      Did you miss where it says the Hero IP?

    • leona says:

      band hero !!!!!!!!!! i personly hate band hero:@i will miss the aseomis of guitar hero and they say band hero has pop. where is the metle,rock.activson are a holes for this but not removeing band hero what the hell for godsac it has pop and its guitar hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:@

  11. harold graunke says:

    well this means no RHCP guitar hero now

  12. Mumrat says:

    Truly sad news πŸ™ I support no one game. I love Rock Band just as much as I love Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. I love music games. Period. They are what made me re-become a gamer after 2 years of little to no gaming. To see this once awesome empire fall is such a sad thing. I will miss new installments of my games, but heres to hoping we continue to see DLC for the game.

  13. beefbearsupreme says:

    From their Facebook on DLC:

    “We will release the previously announced DLC track and mix packs for February, but – unfortunately – we will not be able to release new DLC packs beyond what we already have.”

    What a bummer.

  14. Conriocht13 says:

    As someone who was never a big fan of the Guitar Hero games after HMX departed from the series, I still find this news quite sad. The revelation that DLC is at an (abrupt) end as well is also quite shocking; it means this decision as been in the works for some time.

    Though I am intruiged what this could mean for Rock Band/HMX. Will this lead to them securing the rights to GH-exlusive bands such as Aerosmith, Metallica, Van Halen, and Soundgarden? Will the lack of competition make it easier for HMX to get the big-name hold out artist such as Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd, or will it cause them to get complacent and churn out lackluster releases with songs no one really wants? Or is this just another nail in the rhythym-game’s coffin, leading to HMX eventual end? The future is certainly foggy. But I sympathize for the GH fans out there, as well as the developers who are now out of a job.

  15. Ed Tanguy EWE says:

    Life Fails πŸ™

  16. Saiya says:

    Man -.- this really sucks

  17. Saino says:

    Man \m/ this really rocks

  18. Josh says:

    I wonder if/when they will shut off the multiplayer servers, the score tracking website & GHC forum, and the DLC download servers?

  19. Pingback: Music Game Digest: February 10, 2011 – Plastic Axe

  20. Leonardo Storti says:

    God damn it I feel like I have been stabbed in the back, why am I not surprised it’s Activision. Now I am forced to jump to Rock Band well that sucks….not only that I am pennieless and I think I may have spent more than 150 dollars worth of DLC, which I will never see back and probably have to spend the same ammount of money again but this time on Rock Band. To all you Rock Band fanboys celebrating, screw you and you just lost your competitor. Who are you gonna use as your Guinea Pig now huh, Power GiG?…that would just be plain evil since they sucked from the start anyway. If it wasn’t for GH Rock Band would have not been as innovative as it is now, this is also bad because this will also influence Harmonix as well this is quite a serious blow to Harmonix.

    I guess that’s it, I was such a huge GH fan but I guess it is now over….I wouldn’t have cared if they stopped production of games that wouldn’t have mattered since I am perfectly happy with GHWOR, because my focus was on DLC but that has also been shut down, so now what?…I’m forced to jump ships and we have Bobby Kotick to thank for, thank you for whoring out the GH name to the ground, thank you for milking the series, and certianly THANK YOU for killing our beloved game just like you have down with Tony Hawk, thank you so fucking much thank you. (In case you people were really that dull, I am being sarcastic.)

  21. Christopher says:

    To be fair we all knew it was coming. The idea of Guitar Hero when it first came out was great, a new way of playing and having fun with the games. People bought into that and sales were high. Then after Guitar Hero 3 they tried to introduce new instruments to add. But this never really caught on and the game prices went up. The ideas for the game just went. DJ Hero never caught on from the start so that was never going to last long. And similar story with the Tony Hawk series which they ended. Ran out of ideas and people weren’t buying the game anymore. Plus they lost out to games such as Skate. Then the end to True Crime: Hong Kong just summed up what is actually happening within the company. It’s going to shit, ending bit titles and employee’s loosing their jobs by the hour and the massive loses the company is having. Wouldn’t be surprised if more big titles were axed by Q4 2011

  22. javi says:

    eso no se ase T,T

  23. Renato says:

    Not just me, but my father also likes Guitar Hero, he played it since GH1, we do not have any DLC, but we play and have fun. Too bad it’s ending, it was a great game. I supported it since the first game by HMX.
    I’ll never forget this great game.

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