Guitar Hero is back! Activision has resurrected the video game after a five-year absence. The reason for Guitar Hero’s hiatus can be attributed to the insurgence of electronic and hip-hop dance video games, which took over the music-themed video game market. In its heyday, Guitar Hero built a franchise that reached over $2 billion in sales, becoming one of the few video games to reach such a milestone. Activision’s CEO Robert Kotick’s idea to create spin-offs of the video game, also helped build its strong brand. Some of Guitar Hero’s spin-offs include Guitar Hero: World Tour, Band Hero, and DJ Hero.
Activision decided that in order to compete with the other music-themed video games, Guitar Hero had to offer consumers an “unexpected” gaming experience. “2015 is a very different place than 2010. There’s so many more connected consoles, and we’re so used to consuming music in different ways. We wanted to make sure we did something that people maybe weren’t expecting,” creative director Jamie Jackson said. He added, “Expect anything from the past, from now and the future as they arrive.” The latest iteration will feature an updated music library named Guitar Hero TV, which will allow gamers to flip through (genre-specific) channels and play against their friends, and other players all around the world. The music licensing deals are still being finalized, but the new music on Guitar Hero is expected to feature Avicii, Ed Sheeran, The Black Keys, and more.
Activision has implemented footage from actual live audiences in nightclubs, arenas, and stadiums. This feature will allow gamers to get the experience of performing in front of a live audience. Guitar Hero will also have an enhanced controller with six buttons, which will enable more advanced guitar playing. For those gamers who play on their mobile devices, Guitar Hero will have a mobile version as well. “The vision early on was ‘could we bring you the game fully on your tablet where you’re not sacrificing anything in terms of the visuals and game features,'” Senior direct-product manager Tyler Michaud stated. He continued, “We have a ninety-minute game where you can play on your tablet screen and everything is 100 percent at parity with the console.” Guitar Hero will be released in the fall this year.
FDRMX Eyes: Nick Deutsch is a singer-songwriter based in New York City. The musician has released a music video for “Crazy Ride,” which is off of his debut album of the same name.