Guitar Hero axed by Activision Blizzard

It's a cold day at Activision Blizzard, at least for Guitar Hero fans, as the US publisher has decided to close down all production and cease development of the franchise, citing "declines in the music genre" as a primary reason.

In addition, the company has suspended all further development of its Tony Hawk skateboard games series.

However, the new franchise planned in association with Halo-developer Bungie Games is unaffected by the cuts.

An Activision Blizzard financial report, filed yesterday, states, "Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011."

There will also be no new DJ Hero title, and the publisher's True Crime: Hong Kong title, which was due to come out for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in Autumn last year, has now been cancelled.

Activision Blizzard, though, is remaining upbeat: "Because of focus and disciplined execution, 2010 was another extraordinary year for Activision Blizzard," said CEO Bobby Kotick.

"We made some of the best games we have ever made in over 30 years of being in the interactive entertainment business. We benefited from new content releases for two of the world's most successful online entertainment franchises: Activision Publishing's Call of Duty: Black Ops and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a new instalment in the world's largest subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

"Activision Blizzard's key franchises have larger audience bases than ever before and we continue to see significantly enhanced user activity and engagement for our expanding online communities," he added.

What isn't clear, however, is whether motion controlled gaming, especially with Microsoft's Kinect, has stolen some of the thunder of expensive peripherals - primarily as it doesn't need them.

Perhaps we're about to see a range of music games where you supply your own makeshift guitar - a tennis racket perhaps? Ooo... It's like the 1970s never went away.

What do you think? Mistake for Activision Blizzard, or will it allow the publisher to concentrate on its core franchises, such as COD and WoW? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...



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