Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guitar Hero Takes a Bow

Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced that it is ending the Guitar Hero videogame franchise, surprising many fans. The videogame industry has several successful and long-running franchises and trends, including the iconic Mario Brothers who are some 25-years-old, but music-based videogames appear to have had a short lifespan.

Products like Guitar Hero became part of the zeitgeist of the 2000s, but following their initial popularity, sales of the product and many like it dropped precipitously. Because they required specialized controllers (guitars, microphones, instruments, et. al.), music-based games were far more expensive than their contemporary counterparts, but players only had to purchase these things once -- and many analysts think that is the problem. While newer songs are available for paid download, sales have not managed to sustain the industry.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. is restructuring and will lose hundreds of employees throughout this process, but the decision to end Guitar Hero, widely-regarded as one of the most revolutionary games in the industry, is said to be unrelated.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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