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During his presentation at DICE, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick talked about missed opportunities for the company. One such misstep was failing to explore options with Guitar Hero co-creator Harmonix.
Kotick explained that Activision was aware of Harmonix’s troubled pre-Guitar Hero music games, and although they had a lot of “good ideas” before Guitar Hero they weren’t perceived as “commercially viable.” When Activision acquired Red Octane, the owner of the Guitar Hero brand, the company didn’t think twice about pursuing options with Harmonix, which was later acquired by Viacom.According to Kotick, it didn’t occur to Activision that “’Hey, we should go to Boston and meet these Harmonix guys to see what they’re up to.” He suggests that the music game universe would be shaped very differently if Activision had chatted with the future Rock Band creator, and that it would have probably been “a profitable opportunity.”
Activision ended up giving the Guitar Hero development-duties to trusted Tony Hawk creators, Neversoft. Kotick's regret in not talking with Harmonix is likely being spurred on by Neversoft's recent layoffs and the company's lighter game forecast.Can you imagine an alternate universe where Harmonix was still responsible for Guitar Hero games? What other company do you believe would have risen to the challenge of competing against Guitar Hero in Rock Band’s absence?
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Its better off this way, rock band is better than GH.
If Harmonix was still making Guitar Hero, there's a slight chance the series wouldn't be as whored out as it is, although with Activision's track record, they would have ended up putting another developer on the series alongside Harmonix so they could release games more frequently.
Also, Neversoft would still be making shitty Tony Hawk games that nobody wants to play.
People seem to forget that there are at least three confirmed rock band games for this year and only one guitar hero one... GH isn't the only series that's whoring out the genre.
@ DeadByDagger: look what Activision did to IW re: CoD/MW. A lot of people think that MW2 suffered from being rushed to market, which I can assure you has Kotick's/Activision's fingerprints all over it (that there has to be a COD every holiday season), and that IW given the chance would probably have done more testing before MW2 went live.
Like you theorize with if Harmonix was kept on GH, Activision probably would have brought on Neversoft anyway, just to crank em out as a yearly (and sometimes more than 1 a year); just as they did with IW's kid COD.
That said, I do think that if they hadn't split up (GH and Harmonix) the market for music games would be less flooded than it is today, and that the general quality of GH would be better. I still think, however, that Harmonix always had it in mind to make it a full band thing (or at least they did once they saw the market for the guitar driven games), so Band Hero -in some form, if not in name- would have happened anyway.
Harmonix's better handling of music games + Activision/Red Octane's drive for implementing user creation tools/content could have made for some exciting things (more so than as they stand in GH/BH now).
@Kotick: no kidding retard.
The fact remains, however, each of Harmonix's contributions to the genre have been solid, dollar worthy attempts. Especially when given the attentive love as in the Beatles version. Still crossing my fingers for the same treatment of the Hendrix release, though I doubt I'll be getting another limited edition pack any time soon.
That isn't true. Green Day Rock band isn't being developed by Harmonix, not entirely. Was Rock Band 3 actually confirmed? The only other game is Jimi hendrix, which is a rumor that started when... yesterday?
Queen, U2, The Who, and Pearl jam have all been attached to Rock Band, but just like Jimi Hendrix, there is no word on what type of project they are working on. Something from one of those bands that is just like the AC/DC track pack can't really be considered a game. Something like The Beatles: Rock Band is definitely a game. Aside from those two options, it is just as likely that those bands just get a large number of songs released for DLC, which continues to be released weekly.
There's only one Rock Band game announced for this year which is Green Day: Rock Band. The Hendrix rumor has already been debunked by Harmonix themselves, saying they're only putting out Hendrix material as DLC, not a standalone game.
There are other rumors going around about U2 and The Who, but those have not been confirmed at this time.
I agree entirely. Neversoft probably would have ended up working on the series alongside Harmonix, albeit they'd probably be churning out the band based titles and/or the Band Hero titles.
If this had gone through and there was only one big music series, I think you're correct in assuming that the customization features would be much more fleshed out than they are in their respective titles.
And without a slew of games flooding the market, maybe the music games wouldn't have lost their steam so quickly. But when we had at least 1 GH and RB game a year, they became irrelevant quickly.
rock band is still better than guitar hero
Someone would step up to the plate to try and challenge them but I think this was the universe insuring that the world of business remained balanced. Otherwise Activision would've used this theoretical throne to dominate the industry at whatever margin they saw fit.
Ok so all in all music games have been made into a totally new genre but it was killed by both rock band and guitar hero franchises. If one was to count up all the different games with rock, band, or hero in it that total would come out to something like around 15-20 games (just a guesstimate). But over that given time the music genre has been dragged on by simply just adding new songs or smoother looking visuals. Now there has been ingenuity of course, for example the leap from to just guitar and bass to full on bands, and the recent dj hero is refreshing. But still the music genre has become quite gray. And it doesnt matter who had been with who, or who made what, but the matter of the fact is that music in games needs something totally different in order for it to stay in the gaming industry. Otherwise it will continue becoming old and outdated. Music games have outgrown themselves so its time to get some new pants.
I think Harmonix would've introduced the drums and vocals to Guitar Hero first then Rock Band. Still, either way, they would still put alot of GH games.
I had lost respect for Guitar Hero well after the third one released. It had the best soundtrack. They should have just left it at that and continued to develop music tracks and packs for it. And then they decided to get into Rock Band's way of thinking cause it made money. I'm glad that Rock Band won in the end.
I started with Guitar Hero 1 so it would have been nice to see that franchise go the route that Rock Band ended up going, but in the end I think the competition was good for the market as it drove Harmonix to create a superior product. It's a shame that RedOctane went with Activision because otherwise we would have superior peripherals along with the superior Rock Band game, but that's a perfect world scenario.
I think Activision started getting desperate and throwing whatever they could to try to beat Rock Band. Look at the post GH2 games...
Guitar Hero 3
Guitar Hero: World Tour
Guitar Hero 5
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Guitar Hero: Metallica
Guitar Hero: Van Halen
Rock Band 2
The Beatles: Rock Band
Quality over quantity, I say.
Rock Band is 10000 times better than guitar hero now-a-days.
It was good that they didn't because I love Rock Band and I loathe Guitar Hero.
And this is why you don't let your developers feel forgotten and left out. After all it is their Blood, Sweat, and Tears that they are putting their heart and soul in to making these awesome games. Rock Band has a greater chance of survival on the Music/Rhythm genre due to it's expansive library of tracks, and customizablity! R.I.P. : Guitar Hero 2 -"The last Great Guitar Hero game..." Rock band will live on in Rock Band 3 (Currently Under Development....), Although it may not be the same game you remember. Guitar Hero will soon die... as a cultural phenomenon. Neversoft....stick to "Tony Hawk", and leave "Guitar Hero" to a peaceful death.
wow yeah the music game genre would be totally different if there was no rock band. i'm not really sure who would have risen against Guitar Hero though...
Thank god they didn't. Kotic is an ass and the music game genre would have been killed before it even got off the ground if he had control of over the best music game developer in the market. Now if only they could fix the *** guitars so that they don't suck like the new ones all do then things would be perfect.
Actually, I'm glad Kotick had the nerve to say "I don't need you Harmonix! I've got Neversoft!!! MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!" Otherwise, we wouldn't get Rock Band.w