Games Meet Metal: Riff's Rants: Guitar Hero Gets Shitcanned: Part 1

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Riff's Rants: Guitar Hero Gets Shitcanned: Part 1

(By this point, you knew it was dead anyways.)

You know that $200 bucks you were saving for the next overly-priced Guitar Hero pack? Well, it just turned into coke and hooker money, as the series has been put on a permanent vacation, Activision announced earlier today via a media briefing. The Big "A" said that all production on any future  "Hero" games would be discontinued. That includes Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, and Band Hero. Not just their music department felt the wrath. Their True Crime reboot got the boot. Also, those lame-ass Tony Hawk skateboard controller games will be going bye-bye as well. To top it all off, 500 people are getting the shaft. Kinda sucks to be working on anything else other than Call of Duty or World of Warcraft in Activision/Blizzard world, doesn't it?

This is a real love/hate moment for me. I love the fact that for the first time in years, we're not gonna be pushed to replace our plastic instruments this Christmas. Plus, we won't be seeing a gazillion different versions of the same thing. I don't care what you say about DJ Hero, because that thing was just Guitar Hero with a different controller. And Band Hero? Really? Was the world in real need of a digitized No Doubt? Answer: FUCK NO! The jury's still out on Rock Band's participation in the retail wars, but odds are they'll be taking a break too. Since they like releasing new band kit upgrades every other year, and last year we got keyboards, I'd say we're double safe for now. Not to mention they just got bought from MTV Games, and all their new chairs probably haven't contoured to the shape of their butts yet.

Then there's the flipside to all this. Metal really performed well in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, as compared to other gaming blips on the radar. (Brutal Legend and Splatterhouse, I'm looking at you!) With music games, not only does your child or spouse get an image of music history, but they also get to play along with Iron Maiden's The Trooper!  Now that's an education! Plus, Rock Band and late newcomer Power Gig introduced stringed guitars so it could be that much more real, not to mention truly accepted by real guitarists.

So, what's the future? Rock Band just got new owners, so I don't think they'll bankrupt the game yet. As for Guitar Hero, get ready for it to take a big, fat nap. Too much  over saturation  proved to be it's downfall. Then there's the labels. As of now, Guitar Hero Six is still selling downloadable songs and the Rock Band Network is alive and well, for now. Will the big metal labels continue their support for these older titles until some arbitrary time in the future? Right now, that's a big fat "I Don't Know" but nothing a little bit of investigative journalism can't cure. So consider this a big fat "To Be Continued" until I get a few responses from the metal label world.

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