Guitar Hero, one of the most beloved game, which captured the fancy of hard core gamers as well as beginners, has been put to sleep. Activision announced its decision to shutter the division that created Guitar Hero and its sequels citing continued decline in sales. The move by the company burying the plastic guitar has left several grieving. Scores of fans took to the micro-blogging site to express their sorrow - and some sarcasm - over the end of Guitar Hero turning 'RIP Guitar Hero' into a trending topic.
Guitar Hero took birth in 2005 as a result of a collaboration between an indie studio called RedOctane and Harmonix. The latter had already found success with the Karaoke Revolution franchise, which enabled players to plug in microphones into their consoles to be judged and scored on the accuracy of their singing. Karaoke Revolution was probably the first game that proved to the market that gamers were interested in the music genre as well.
Activision purchased the Guitar Hero franchise in 2006 for $100 million. As per reports, the company shipped more than 25 million units for an estimated $2 billion while Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock alone made $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Harmonix published the Rock Band franchise, which added drums, microphones and keyboards to the plastic guitar provided by Guitar Hero. Then came the flood in the music game genre with Band Hero, DJ Hero, Warriors of Rock and more.
It was during the holiday season that the first signs of music game decay emerged. Proving this is actual figures, Activision posted a $233 million net loss for the fourth quarter. It has also announced plans to lay-off 500 employees.
In a press release, the company said, 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.
Besides the fact that the music game arena was saturated with almost identical franchises coupled with the fact that there was no real scope of novelty, there were several other factors that contributed to the eventual death of the Guitar Hero. For one, the game controllers in the genre are extremely expensive. All the latest offerings would just boil down to the same game play with new rock anthems. Ultimately, the players are engulfed by boredom with the game and end up abandoning the game or on the positive side pick up an actual guitar.
Lovers of Guitar Hero have not been hesitant to express their feelings on online forums, blogs, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Even hours after the news broke, 'RIP Guitar Hero' is trending on Twitter.
The most retweeted post was from Nextag.com: RIP Guitar Hero. We'll always remember our 1st 5-star on expert. Now they can play you in Rock & Roll Heaven.
Some users had no words to express their sorrow. Ailleen said it with an emoticon: RIP Guitar Hero :(
lolMikePeterson posted, For once I find a trending topic that resonates: RIP Guitar Hero.
However, the tweet stream was not all tears as some took it upon themselves to challenger the plastic guitar lovers to pick up a real guitar.
A user, Robert Scott, tweeted, If you spent as much time practicing playing a real guitar as you did playing guitar hero you might actually get laid, RIP Guitar Hero.
Another user with the account iamwackysheep, wrote, 'RIP Guitar Hero' is trending? Do we get to kill losers over the age of 12 who play it in public now? Buy a real guitar!
Meanwhile, on the official Guitar Hero account featured a tweet by clowwolf responding to the negative comments out there: Oh @GuitarHero , the haters will hate, but I will continue to wail on my plastic guitar in your memory!
Although Activision is closing the Guitar Hero division, it should be noted that the company will not stop selling Guitar Hero titles in the near future. Those interested can still pick up the Guitar Hero back catalog and buy extra songs online.
Also trying to calm the grieving fans GuitarHero twitter account informed its followers through a reply to @TimvGerner: We will continue to sell and support our catalogue of Guitar Hero, including Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.