The lights are on
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?