Dan Winters, the firm’s VP of developer relations and acquisitions, told GI.biz that the series very much remained in Activision’s thoughts.
“Just to clarify, we’re just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus, we’re not ending it,” he said. “We’re releasing products out of the vault – we’ll continue to sustain the channel, the brand won’t go away. We’re just not making a new one for next year, that’s all.”
It had previously been assumed that the series was gone for good, after Activision closed down its dedicated Guitar Hero business unit – a move which also spelt the end for DJ Hero – after announcing poor financial results in February, blaming "continued declines in the music genre.”
Job losses at Guitar Hero developers Vicarious Visions and 7 Studios followed shortly afterwards but by the end of February Activision’s stance appeared to have mellowed somewhat when it confirmed ongoing DLC support for both Guitar Hero and DJ Hero “in thanks for [the community’s] continued support.”
Winters also goes into some detail on Activision’s cancellation of True Crime: Hong Kong. Directly contradicting Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirschberg’s thoughts on the game – which he said “just wasn’t going to be good enough” – Winters said it was “tracking towards a very good game. The challenges in the marketplace right now, when you're talking about open-world games, expectations for the consumer are really high.
“We changed our business model…to focus disproportionately on three big, huge monsters. Those three monsters are the Bungie, Call of Duty and Spyro titles.”