Activision should have nurtured Guitar Hero, says the series' original publisher, rather than trying to make a quick buck.
Kelly Sumner, former head of RedOctane, says that Activision has been a very poor steward of the Guitar Hero franchise, and basically destroyed it by trying to squeeze too much out of it, too quickly. RedOctane was the original publisher of the Guitar Hero games, until it was acquired by Activision in 2006.
In an interview with MCV, Sumner said that not every game had the potential to become a billion dollar franchise, but wondered if that wasn't all that Activision was really interested in. He said that he didn't see any reason why the franchise couldn't continue, but didn't think that Activision wouldn't sell anyone the brand. He thought that if another publisher was able to find success with the series, it would prove that the problem had been Activision all along,and that was something that Activision wasn't about to let happen.
He thought that Activision should have aped Take Two's handling of the Grand Theft Auto series. Rather than launch game after game, Take Two had nurtured the franchise for ten years, leaving it strong and healthy. Sumner's thoughts on the demise of the Guitar Hero franchise echo many others who think that Activision mismanaged the series, resulting in a difficult climate for all music games.
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened to the Guitar Hero series if it had mirrored the evolution of its chief competitor, Rock Band, a little more closely. Rock Band saw regular - almost yearly - releases, but far fewer of them and much better support for each release. It's hard to imagine it could have ended worse for the franchise, and hopefully, if Activision does bring the series back in the future - which CEO Bobby Kotick said was possible - it will take the Rock Band route.
Source: via CVG