Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock screenshot
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock screenshot

While Rock Band lives to see another day under Harmonix's return to independence, the franchise it started, Gutiar Hero, is all but dead after Activision disbanded the business.

It's understandable then, that Harmonix was sad to hear of Guitar Hero's demise.

"We were sad to hear yesterday that Activision was discontinuing development on Guitar Hero. Our thoughts are with those who are losing their jobs, and we wish them the best of luck," read a forum post by Harmonix community manager John Drake.

"The discontinuation of Guitar Hero is discouraging news for fans of the band game genre. As retail sales of Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles have slowed with time, we've been focused on building a robust digital platform for music gaming and have recently crested 2,500 songs available for play within Rock Band 3.

He added: "The music genre is one that calls for constant reinvention, and Harmonix is continuing to welcome and embrace that call.

"In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on. We're continuing to invest in the franchise and the brand that we have built, and will do our best to serve all loyal band game fans. For rhythm gamers out there who haven't yet given Rock Band a chance, Rock Band 3 software is compatible with a wide range of instruments, including most Guitar Hero controllers. Looking to the future, for fans that want to switch, we'd happily welcome you over into the world of Rock Band."

Drake concluded; "It's been a wild battle of the bands since 2007, but we respect and appreciate all of the hard work and innovation of our peers who have shared the music gaming space with us, and we look forward to rocking in the future." Analysis

"One shall stand, one shall fall" is the immortal line from leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Never has this statement been truer than with the battle of the bands.

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User Comments

Bloodstorm's Avatar




"***** SAKE NINTENDO.......aww sweet, zelda!"

Calling them right now.
Posted 17:15 on 11 February 2011
Woffls's Avatar


You call those long comments? Wait until E3.
Posted 17:11 on 11 February 2011
enviro-bear's Avatar


Posted 17:04 on 11 February 2011
guyderman's Avatar


I think a lot of the problem was that people just saw GH and RB as the same beast which caused everyone to exclaim - 'NOT ANOTHER ONE!' everytime a new title was released for either title.

For me the only thing that kept me with RB rather than GH was purely the amount of content available. Over the years with the various versions bought and the DLC i've invested in I could probably play four or five times a week and not repeat a song if I wanted to.

I genuinely think it's a shame that this genre has fallen to the fate that it has as there are a fair few geeks out there, like myself, that don't have the time, money, resources or talent to play real music and this is the closest that they'll ever get to it - I know I can't 'Really' play the drums - but at least this lets me have a good time pretending that I can to some damn cool tunes!
Posted 16:04 on 11 February 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ guyderman

Agree with most of that, though I'd like to point out that the amount of songs I have in the form of GH discs would never fit on my 20gb HDD :P And the band specific games dropped in price pretty quickly, so they were at least as viable an option as DLC. I was never that bothered about being able to access all my songs through one game but I know a lot of people were.

Also, I think the press had a massively skewed view of the two games. RB focussed on multiplayer, and yeh that's fine for the few fortunate four friends to have fun with (FFFFF!) but for the rest of us, it was largely a single player experience. So I would say in retrospect that too much of these game's critical success was determined by the multiplayer experience. But that's a different issue really.

I also loved how people would bitch about getting extra games despite not being forced to buy them. Choice isn't a bad thing. Sure it would be if the main game was compromised, but according to the critics it got better from 3 to 5...

After all this, the games I will go back to are Guitar Hero II and III, because they are single player experiences with proper difficulty curves which are truly rewarding to master, and devilishly hard without being brutally unforgiving.
Posted 15:47 on 11 February 2011
guyderman's Avatar


GH was clueless how to handle DLC and always seemed more interested in moving onto getting the next full price game out on the shelves than to carry on supporting the current title.

RB has difficulty curve issues. A song that kicks my ass on expert is too dumbed down and easy on Hard.

The Guitars on RB were not as good as the GH guitars.

The GH Drum Kit was not as good as the RB kit (which was also crap and my main reason for buying an iON kit).

Some of the song choices on both games were very questionable at times.

The Band release for RB (AC/DC, Green day) were pretty much track packs that people could play as stand alone if they wanted - and they were released at a lower price point which actually worked out cheaper than if they had been released as DLC.

The Band Releases for GH (Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen) should also have been treated in this manner - and not just had 20 or so tracks by said band and then filled with another 20 or so tracks of pretty much Dirge - and then sold at full price.

RB has a good solid community where as GH's is not so good.

I would've bought every single GH game if I could've added thetracks from previous games to my HDD and used them with my latest installment without having to keep swapping through discs.
GH has a more energetic and 'Fun' tone to the gameplay than RB but at the same time RB is easier to navigate tracks and I can set up personal set lists using virtually all content dfrom the other games as well as all of my DLC.

The fact is that there are highs and lows to both titles and people will always have their game of choice. Harmonix have tried to move the genre a step forward and added a mode that SOME people will appreciate and use - others will just want to play in the old style and they have constantly supported the product with a library of now over 2,500 songs. They have also tried hard to ensure that there is something for pretty much everyone within the lists too. But the truth of the matter is that you can't please everyone. I've had nothing but great fun with RB since day one and it's the only game that I am still playing on a regular basis three years on. I hope that Harmonix manage to keep the title going for as long as they can.
As said before if people aren't interested or don't like it then there are plenty of other types of games for you to play - just walk away!
Posted 15:29 on 11 February 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ mikejosh1978

Guitar Hero did undergo changes though, significantly at World Tour where they decided to appeal to everyone, and then again at Warriors of Rock where they made a more targetted product again. The gameplay elements changed in each iteration as well, but they're very specific things like timing windows and how charting was approached. Things which I think were generally better in Guitar Hero than Rock Band.

Harmonix only scaled back releases last year. Prior to that they had Rock Band Green Day, AC/DC, Beatles, Track Packs 1/2, and a continuous stream of DLC which I think even had compatibility issues in RB3 because of the new instruments.

And regarding instruments, the GH guitars were always far better for high end play. If you just want to strum about and enjoy the song then yeh, the Strat was fine, but it was optimised for aesthetics first and accuracy last. Playing even at Hard level exposes the flaws in the Strat if you give the Les Paul etc a fair shake.

As you said to begin with, Rock Band 3 was basically RB2 with an instructional tool added onto it. It's innovative for sure, but all the praise I hear about Rock Band is how fun it is to just pick up and play with your mates after a few drinks. Surely it's Harmonix that took a wrong turn?
Posted 15:01 on 11 February 2011
mikejosh1978's Avatar


I hate to disagree Woffls but RB has just shifted its weight around by doing stand-alone games and new peripherals that after RB3 has basically become an instructional tool that can be transferred to real instruments .
GH was the start but never really left its formula and with no change in gameplay or strategy and some very finger aching peripherals, poor design choices and flooding the market as they did with samey titles, fans grew disenchanted with it just like we are seeing to some extent with CoD and Activision seem determined to not heed the warnings just toss aside and move on but i fear that when the time comes for CoD it will be a very sad day indeed & look back at this as just the start.
Rockband took a step back and looked at the strategy Activision took with GH and scaled back its releases and looked to deliver something different and perhaps usefull unlike the path Activision seem to choose for its titles.
Harmonix have been very clever and yes the genre is on the downturn but with no competition they now have an easier road to travel with its kinect titles doing well and RB being the only music game still on the market worth its salt i doubt investors will be jumping ship at least for another 3-5yrs.
I am a big fan of RB and dabbled with GH and this is a very personal opinion but RB for me has secured a big future by having very realistic drums , keyboard and Real guitar usage to its arsenal and has seemed to of convinced previous doubter bands that its more than a game , unlike Activisions law suit infested rinse and repeat game.
Posted 14:43 on 11 February 2011
Woffls's Avatar


Rock Band didn't 'beat' Guitar Hero out of the genre. Activision realised it didn't have a future so they abandoned it. The exact same thing will happen when Rock Band 4 is a commercial failure next year, and HMX' investors will jump ship and cut their losses. If that doesn't happen, great, because I really like music games.
Posted 11:52 on 11 February 2011

Game Stats

Release Date: 29/10/2010
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 3,023
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