John Drake of Harmonix Issues Statement on Guitar Hero

John Drake, one of the most well-known personalities behind Harmonix, has issued an official statement regarding the news of Activision slamming the door shut on the Guitar Hero series.

The statement starts out appropriately sympathetic, giving best wishes to those that have lost their jobs, but it quickly changes pace after the first paragraph. Drake then goes on to ensure fans of the genre that while this news is bad news for the genre, the Rock Band series will continue and they will welcome any distraught Guitar Hero fans in from the cold.

The message is being received generally well, but there are fans of Guitar Hero that are claiming this is coming off as an opportunistic way to plug the series in the wake of a rival’s demise. Check out the full message below and leave us your thoughts on Drake’s issued statement, which can only be perceived as the official Harmonix statement on the issue.

We were sad to hear yesterday that Activision was discontinuing development on Guitar Hero. Our thoughts are with those who are losing their jobs, and we wish them the best of luck.

The discontinuation of Guitar Hero is discouraging news for fans of the band game genre. As retail sales of Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles have slowed with time, we’ve been focused on building a robust digital platform for music gaming and have recently crested 2,500 songs available for play within Rock Band 3.

Harmonix and Rock Band continue to push beyond simple performance simulation to pioneer new approaches to music gaming. Rock Band 3 saw the introduction of our innovative new Pro Mode, in which aspiring musicians of all ages can develop actual musical skills through gameplay on guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. We’re looking forward to the imminent release of the Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitar Controller, a fully functional guitar which doubles as a Rock Band Pro controller (launching March 1st). We are also relaunching the Rock Band Network, a way for bands of all shapes and sizes to get their music into Rock Band. RBN just passed the 1000-songs mark, and its relaunch will now support keyboards, pro drums and vocal harmonies. The music genre is one that calls for constant reinvention, and Harmonix is continuing to welcome and embrace that call.

In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on. We’re continuing to invest in the franchise and the brand that we have built, and will do our best to serve all loyal band game fans. For rhythm gamers out there who haven’t yet given Rock Band a chance, Rock Band 3 software is compatible with a wide range of instruments, including most Guitar Hero controllers. Looking to the future, for fans that want to switch, we’d happily welcome you over into the world of Rock Band.

It’s been a wild battle of the bands since 2007, but we respect and appreciate all of the hard work and innovation of our peers who have shared the music gaming space with us, and we look forward to rocking in the future.


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28 Responses to John Drake of Harmonix Issues Statement on Guitar Hero

  1. King Bobby III says:

    His comment is totally irrelevant, GH is fucked, that’s the only fact that counts.

    • AXE WARRIOR 1972 says:

      The death of guitar hero is no suprise.
      After GH3 which recieved very little DLC support we had the aerosmith game, metallica, GH world tour, GH 5 , Band Hero , GH van halen and then warriors of rock.
      DLC support was poor for each one.
      Everyone loves good solid DLC.
      This is why Rock band has succeeded, besides the rock band beatles (which was abandoned regarding DLC) all of the other Rock band titles have content which you can import to the other games.
      GH does not have this until warriors of rock and then its only selective tracks.
      GH let everyone down so its there own fault.

      I play all of the music games but after world tour and the total lack of support it recieved i choose to play rock band instead these days.
      RIP GH , long live Rock band!

  2. PikminGuts92 says:

    Wow. Three of those paragraphs were unnecessary. It sounds like HMX is trying to milk on the death of GH. I’m surprised he did not mention at all who originally created the franchise. 😛

    • Miguel says:

      In all honesty, I think what Drake was trying to say is, “Look, the discontinuing of GH is a major loss, but music gaming isn’t dead. We’re trying new things over at HMX to help the genre survive and grow.” In other words, they’re not giving up on band games just because Activision did.

      But yeah, it came across a bit more like “Aw shucks, that’s too bad. Now come play Rock Band!”

  3. GreenalienGH says:

    He is just promoting Rock Band 3 more than anything else.

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  5. Chris Glass says:

    Totally classless. But Rock Band fans CAN be all about gloat. RockBandAide was going around on Twitter and if you said “RIP Guitar Hero” he would reply telling you about Rock Band.

  6. davesmiling says:

    I thought his words were alright given the way thing’s played out. I can’t remember that bloke’s name but whoever it was from the Guitar Hero side of thing’s, he made some pretty lame comments in the past when trying to one-up his game above the rest, & of course, given the recent lay-off’s left right & center giving Rock Band some extra publicity to Guitar Hero fans is fine, because as shocking as it may be, alot of people still have no idea Rock Band exists so what better way to promote it than through a statement re: Guitar Hero.

    From his point of view, i can’t imagine it’s seen as “That Bad” as Guitar Hero has closed the doors now so it’s not harming them him mentioning it & as i said, what better way to make unaware fans aware of Rock Band.

    I like both games, & i am saddened by the news.

    Guitar Hero i preferred the look of & the fps it had, it just had something about it that felt very “Hollywood” in terms of look & it was easy to see what was going on at all times even on a crt.

    Rock Band now has a Keyboard which is my favorite Instrument to play and a Wider choice of songs, so it’s mixed & a shame but i see no wrong in anything of what that statement has said, if anything, i think the way it’s been worded is great.

    Now, if only Activision wanted to join forces and help get some of those more exclusive artist’s onto the Rock Band franchise quicker *cough* Metallica *cough*

    • King Bobby III says:

      5 Metallica songs are on RB, they aren’t exclusive, but probably pathetic cash whores.

      • davesmiling says:

        To be honest, Metallica are not my thing, i like 2 song’s by them but that’s it, it’s the Eagles i would like to see more of, or Eric Clapton, i’d love to see more of him but i won’t count my eggs too quickly.

      • Ospero says:

        They were exclusive, whatever that may mean exactly, for quite a long time. Neither of the Metallica songs from the Rock Band discs exports to other games, and the DLC pack was released back in 2007.

        Understandable, considering that Activision gave them their own game, but “cash whores” they certainly aren’t. We’ll need to wait and see what happens – same as with RHCP, Soundgarden and Aerosmith.

  7. Conriocht13 says:

    I don’t think the statement was meant to sympathize with Guitar Hero fans, or even to rub it in their faces. It was meant to reassure Rock Band fans who might view the cancellation of GH, along with the recent sale and “slimming” of Harmonix, as the beginning of the end for music games.

    • Croq says:

      This. I totally don’t think his intention was to gloat. Just to reassure folks that RB will continue, and putting out the virtual olive branch to the GH folks so that if they wanted to continue playing, that RB might be a way they could do that.

  8. PSPCOW says:

    Well, moving to Rock Band. I’ll start with the Mustang PRO guitar. I already have keys and previous instruments.
    Now how do I make my blonde female RB singer get the Short and Spunky haircut of my old GH one…

  9. Jake says:

    Just another plug….kinda lame

  10. David says:

    Although it’s just a way to get more people to by rb, he did do it quit respectfully

  11. Leonardo Storti says:

    I wouldn’t say GH is dead, Activision stopped producing the games, that doesn’t mean the game is dead, Remember Vicarious Visions is taking over the platform…GHWOR could be the last GH in existance it is very possible, we had a good run so it’s fine if they end the GH series, the series after all does need a freaking break, as long as there is no stop to the DLC then I will stick with Guitar Hero…I really don’t want to switch over to Rock Band, unless all my GH DLC works for Rock Band which never will, and if I do plan to make the switch that means REBUYING! the DLC I bought for Guitar Hero which is almost over 150 dollars worth, but instead on Rock Band and spend that same kind of money or more, for Rock Band.

    Vicarious Visions is taking over the franchise so my guess is they probably wont release more games for it, however I do see great chances that they will probably try and focus on DLC which is really what I care about, I spent all my money and more on GH and I’m gonna end it with Guitar Hero. Just don’t stop the DLC that is really what we all ask for and for god sakes please change the plan of monthly DLC, monthly DLC is not really working for me, I mean 10 songs per month? why not just make it 20 then I can look forward into waiting a month….either way in conclusion, I can admit defeat and we had a good run….but if you do stop DLC all together, then I will be forced to make the switch to Rock Band

  12. Game!Ov3r says:

    This should be interesting to see if HMNX comes out with a hot first quarter with people jumping ship. I was a huge Guitar Hero supporter and wanted to see them stick around, but they ended up being like that old girlfriend that was stuck in her own ways and wouldnt change for the better of the relationship. The lack of exporting songs and DLC support is what hurt the most I think, but this is where HMNX shines and I think once people change over to Rock Band they will have fun seeing tons of songs in their music library, and the best part about it most of the older titles you can get dirt cheap and just export the songs into RB3.

  13. mazegeek999 says:

    It seems as if John D. is trying to advertise Rock Band 3, in such a way to manipulate the GH players into buying RB3.

  14. leon x says:

    It´s really sad, but if Activision doesnt want my money, i move to Rock Band..

  15. Iggy says:

    Granted this message from HMX was posted on the RB forums to the already RB fans as sort of “Yeah GH is no more but we will continue our work” reassurance. There is no denying the music gaming genre has declined in the last few years and I for one am excited to see where things go from here.

  16. RBGHfam says:

    Seriously, what the hell is he supposed to say.
    “Its a dark day for rhythm gaming, we will mourn the loss of our rival” Bull shit, we have all invested a ton of money in these games. If Activision is too inept to figure out how to keep a great franchise fresh and in the green, then pass the torch to someone else and hopefully they can get the job done. Last time I checked there wasn’t a shortage on people that love music!

    I do feel bad for the people that lost their jobs and I do not hold either franchise on a pedestal. I have most of the gh/rb games and have loved playing them. In the same breath GH hasn’t done anything innovative in years with the game and they have less music. It was only a matter of time until that fact bit them hard on the ass, and that day has come.

    They have become the zune of mp3 players, but at least I can move those songs over and still play them. Not in this case. Now we have to most likely repurchase the songs when/if hmx ever gets them into rockband.

    Sure you can switch disks, but that sucks at a party.
    “Here is my collection of songs on an excel spreadsheet, spread amongst 12 different games, oh you want Hotel California. Wait let me switch disks again to GH:WT and then switch it again right after the fact because no one wants to play anything else off of that disk.” Oh YAY!

    If this genre survives it will be nice to be able to compile a music collection all in one place, this will make that easier. Hopefully hmx doesn’t screw it up and go under too!

    I’m hoping this is a good thing for the industry and the consumer.

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