Published on February 11th, 2011 | by Remdog0
Activision axes Guitar Hero, True Crimes, makes layoffs and dev closures
Who could foresee something like this happening? It seems like only yesterday we were holding a plastic guitar controller for the first time and had quickly become addicted to the craze. With actually only a mere lifespan of 5 years Activision has disbanded its Guitar Hero business unit and announced that it will cease development of the planned 2011 Guitar Hero game. This effects all Hero games (Dj Hero and handhelds included) and will not be publishing any music games this year. This is all apart of Activisions call to bring the workforce down to 500 people and focus on key games.
True Crimes: Hong Kong also got the axe as development wasn’t going as smoothly as Activision had hoped. We had seen the game at last years E3 and looked to be shaping up but time must have been a big factor in this. It has also been reported that 7 Studios, part of Activision’s music game division, has been shut down as well. The studio was acquired in 2009 and is currently in a on going legal battle concerning publishers Genius Products which had contracted 7 Studios to create Scratch: The Ultimate DJ before Activision bought the company out. Vicarious Visions has had a cut of 50 staff members are responsible for some of the handheld titles of Hero and Tony Hawk games. It was also only last month that Activision closed the doors of Bizarre Creations which were a company dating back to 1994.
What does this all spell for the future of the company? While it doesn’t really say that Guitar Hero as a franchise is over and done with, it does however show that we won’t be getting one until something absolutely revolutionary is discovered (aka a long time!). The DJ Hero dev FreeStyleGames is currently working out solutions with Activision but is in the hot seat and Neversoft’s Tony Hawk games have cease production for this year. Activision did express that it is going strong with key games, spiderman titles and if not at least one game from Blizzard this year then two for next year. While restructuring within companies is normal and sometimes absolutely necessary, it does question how far bigger companies are willing to go to acquire the competition only to see it shutdown when it falls short of expectations.