Former Red Octane CEO Accuses Activision of Franchise Abuse

Much of the community came out against Activision before they potentially ended the Guitar Hero franchise, but the news, which hit last week, seemed to set the media and game worlds ablaze with criticism on the way Activision handles their titles.

The latest to come out against the game publisher giant is the former CEO of the original Guitar Hero producers, Red Octane. Kelly Summer not only thinks that Guitar Hero was abused by Activision, but the company is afraid to sell it. Summer even went on to praise the way that Take-Two handles their IP’s.

Check the quote below and chime in with your own thoughts.

They abused it. There’s no reason why Guitar Hero cannot continue. It’s a great product. My gut tells me there is still a significant market for Guitar Hero. Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise, but maybe that’s what Activision wants. [..] Look at how Take-Two has handled GTA. They haven’t thrown products out there. They’ve nurtured it for over ten years and it is still a strong franchise. […] I’d be surprised if they sold the brand as it’d prove to the world there is still a market for this product and show them up.

[via G4]

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18 Responses to Former Red Octane CEO Accuses Activision of Franchise Abuse

  1. vVv Dan says:

    Theres definitely no reason GH can’t continue, even if it has to go back to covers; have you heard the recent ones? after neversoft took over the covers started to kick ass. Sunshine of your love, black betty, she bangs the drums, hell i didn’t even know GHA had a cover but it did.

    • Barles Charkley says:

      LOL, Neversoft never had anything to do with the covers, they were all done exclusiveley by WaveGroup.

      Stop coming up with anything to give Neversoft credit for things they had nothing to do with, fanboys :rolleyes:

      • Brian says:

        Well, Wavegroup stepped back from covers after Neversoft took over and Steve Ouimette turned into the primary cover artist with Guitar Hero III. So in a sense, he was right.

        • Barles Charkley says:


          All the cover versions he listed (Sunshine of your love, black betty, she bangs the drums) were done by WaveGroup.

          They even released two WaveGroup covers as GH:WT DLC.

          Get your facts straight, dude.

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  4. Leoanrdo Storti says:

    That is old news to me, I’ve already known that GH has been abused…um hello? it’s ACTIVISION PEOPLE!….Example: Tony Hawk Pro Skater

    The next in the list of abuse has already begun with COD….that’s how they work, release a certain formula that people will love and that will sell like hot cakes, then sell the franchise over and over and over with the same formula with little innovation until people get tired of it and stop buying it all thogether. Once Activision or rather Bobby Kotick realizes that the franchsie does not sell very well, the best solution is to fire anyone who was associated with the franchise in order to save himself money and keep the company alive, thus caring little for the people who helped build the franchise….it’s all about making money in todays society, it’s never been about making games fun, it’s been about making money…at least for Koticks view it would be that way, personally for me it would be about keeping the customer happy, and LISTINING!!…which is something Kotick should learn to do!

    I can understand when a franchise does not do well it’s best to end it yes, I can grow to accept that, but firing everyone who helped build it and put so much work and dedication into the franchise? I DO NOT AGREE!

  5. leon x says:

    ACTIVISION must sell the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ty says:

    well spoken, of course it’s been abused, & I think guitar hero could continue, just ditch the heavy metal theme of WOR & go back to the rock star/party feel of gh5, & add in some new features that aren’t in rock band

    • Tom says:

      Are you kidding? WoR is the perfect GH game for what GH now is. It isn’t really a party game, It’s a competitive rhythm game. The only people that still play it are the diehard fans

    • RickC says:

      I think the direction of WoR was a good step. The casual gamer/party gamer has moved on from rhythm games. The story in WoR was goofy and there was nothing remotely original about the gameplay, but it is still a strong niche product with a dedicated fanbase, and I think Hard Rock/Metal/Prog appeal to that fanbase.

      There is life left in rhythm games, but Activision is not interested in nurturing a franchise that could consistently sell millions of copies. The want franchises that sell billions of copies until they run it into the ground, toss it aside, and move on to the next fad. 🙁

      It is a viable business strategy. Not a gamer-friendly one, but they are not a charity and I am sure it makes them money.

  7. Pancho says:

    I always joked that if Guitar Hero would be discontinued, Activision/Neversoft would sue Harmonix, Seven45, and Konami for oversaturating the market with too many music games and for destroying Activision’s #2 milking-machine (COD is #1), just to make a quick buck.

    I wouldn’t have expected RedOctane’s former CEO to accuse Activision for franchise abuse, but this is still lulz-worthy.

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