“Guitar Hero” A Zero For MTV

Jan 23rd, 2007 // 8 Comments

A few months ago, MTV purchased Harmonix–the video-game developer that produced the shred-’til-you’re-dead title Guitar Hero, and its sequel–for $75 million. But Variety reports that Harmonix won’t be producing any more titles in the Hero series, and that MTV’s purchase is starting to seem like a questionable decision:

Harmonix rose to fame for its work producing “Guitar Hero,” a successful game that lets players simulate being a rock star on a controller made to look like a guitar. Last November’s sequel, also developed by Harmonix, was one of the bestselling games of the year.

However, publisher RedOctane — part of Activision — recently confirmed that a new developer, NeverSoft, is working on the next sequel. Neversoft, which is owned by Activision, is primarily known for making Tony Hawk brand skateboarding games.

While most observers expected that MTV had a lot in store for Harmonix, given the very high price it paid, few expected it to abandon work on “Guitar Hero.”

However, Activision apparently couldn’t or didn’t want to work with a developer now owned by MTV. That means Harmonix is most likely working entirely on original projects for its new corporate parent, which is trying to expand its presence in the vidgame biz.

Harmonix has since gone on the offensive, with one producer claiming that the company is working on a “bigger, more ambitious music endeavor”–but not giving any details. Which makes us wonder if our predictions of Next: The Video Game might not turn out to be true after all.

Harmonix has zero to do with ‘Hero’ [Variety]


  1. GilloD

    The common wisdom here is that Guitar Hero is now a VERY difficult formula to fuck up. Heaving it off to a capable third party like Neversoft frees up Harmonix to work on whatever they want. With a little creative freedom, maybe we’ll see more games like Amplitude? Please?

  2. lucasg

    it just bums me out when i see a fat eleven-year-old kid buying guitar hero instead of a guitar. it is almost a scientifically proven fact that playing the guitar will get you laid. playing guitar hero instead will just get you fatter. those kids need to be locked in their bedrooms learning scales and modes and jerking off, not locked in their rooms playing videos games and jerking off. i’ve played the game, it’s fun. but come on.

  3. noamjamski

    I have to disagree Lucas.

    Anything that gets the kids caring about chops and listening to Deep Purple is OK in my book!

  4. janine

    Guitar Hero is not thinning the ranks. Both of my nephews started playing guitar as of this X-mas because of Guitar Hero. I even picked up guitar last spring because I forgot that I missed it. The three of us played “about a girl” together ’cause it was that or “louie, louie.” My point is: people who want to play guitar, play guitar.

    What I’d like to see Harmonix do is a music adventure like Guitaroo Man Lives or Toejam and Earl’s Panic on Funkotron.

  5. ReluctantHipster

    That photo right there is the most rocking thing that Panic! At! The! Disco! nancy has ever done.

  6. lucasg

    well, awesome, then! i pretty much avoid children at all costs, so my concern was unfounded. i just assumed this would continue the tradition of fat/lazy- especially since guitar strings hurt your fingers, and the learning curve is not instant.

  7. katie_a_princess

    i think mtv makes more kids fat, and guitar hero makes me a hero.

  8. janine

    Fat gamers are so 2005, clearly you’ve never suffered from Wii elbow or Donkey Konga strain (palms and triceps).

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