U.S. gaming giant Activision Blizzard is shutting down the Guitar Hero franchise, citing declines in the music genre, according to multiple online media reports.
The renowned video-game publisher announced Wednesday that it is closing Vicarious Visions, developer of the computer game series Guitar Hero, which was launched in 2005 and arguably has been one of the most famous franchises in the gaming industry.
The popular gaming series has had five sequels and also launched a large number of spin-offs, including Metallica, Van Halen, and Aerosmith editions.
Activision scraps Guitar Hero
What led the company to axe the popular video game then? The maker of the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft series says it's closing its Guitar Hero unit because "the popularity of music-themed video games has faded," according to BBC news website.
It's believed that the poor commercial performance of the franchise's sixth installment Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock, led Activision to take this decision.
Referring to its December quarter financial results, Activision announced the discontinuation of the franchise in a press release, saying: "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."
It's believed that the poor commercial performance of the franchise's sixth installment, Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock, led Activision to take this decision.
The Santa Monica-based Activision has revealed that other games it's going to axe will include DJ Hero and True Crime.
Music games are expensive to make
Activision says manufacturing music games is an expensive deal, including the licensing fees for the songs and the cost of making the hardware such as plastic guitars and microphones.
"Despite a remarkable 92 rating on DJ Hero 2, a well-regarded Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as well as a 90-plus release from our most direct competitor, demand for peripheral based music games declined at a dramatic pace," video games website Eurogamer quoted Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg saying.
"Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply can't make these games profitably based on current markets and demand," Hirshberg added.
The company will, however, continue to sell and support its catalogue of Guitar Hero titles, according to BBC.
Lackluster sales of Activision
According to New York Time, Activision announced yesterday that it had lost $233 million, or 20 cents a share, in the latest quarter, which ended in December, compared with a loss of $286 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.43 billion, from $1.56 billion.
According to International Business Times, music game revenue in the United States dropped to less than $250 million as of October of last year, compared to 2008 sales of $1.7 billion.
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Activision discontinues Guitar Hero video game series
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