February 9, 2011
Guitar Hero — The Bands Breaking Up
Activision Blizzard said that it will be bringing the axe down on the “Guitar Hero” video game series. This is quite surprising news considering how popular the titles have been.
Blizzard also mentioned that it will be laying off 7% of its staff including the “Guitar Hero” team among them.
Blizzard stated that “Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s ‘Guitar Hero’ business unit and discontinue development of (the game) for 2011,” Activision said. This announcement coincided with the statement of it’s quarterly fiscal results.
They have reassured the masses however that it remains dedicated to it’s everly popular Call of Duty franchise. The Call of Duty franchise has seen more then a billion dollars in sales and World of Warcraft has more than 13 million subscribers. These games are clearly their most popular. Apparently the Guitar Hero franchise has lost it’s luster after it debuted back in 2005.
Activision reported that it lost $233 million on net revenue of $1.43 billion in the final three months of 2010. It finished the year with a net profit of $418 million on annual net revenue of $4.45 billion.
On a side note I don’t find this surprising. Activision likes to milk franchises that make them a ton of money and they did just that with the Guitar Hero franchise. Launching title after title every year. Similar to what they are currently doing with Call of Duty however that franchise still sells like wildfire. It will be interesting to see if the Call of Duty franchise can keep up it’s illustrious sales of if it too will eventually loose the appeal it once had.