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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:12pm 10/02/11 | 20 Comments
It looks like uber-publisher Activision is cleaning house and readying themselves for something of a development overhaul, which arguably started with Raven Soft's downsizing, but continues today with the scrapping of the True Crime reboot that was being handled by Vancouver-based United Front Games (ModNation Racers), and the disbanding of the Guitar Hero franchise.

Gamesindustry.biz (registration required) reports on comments made in a new earnings release from Acti: "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," the publisher said in a statement, adding that "the company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong".

Clarifying the halt on development of True Crime, which was to make a reformed appearance at the upcoming Game Developer's Conference, Eric Hirshberg, Activision's Publishing CEO, said that "it just wasn't going to be good enough", and cited the best in the biz being the only games that can perform well commercially in the open-world genre.

"The day I arrived at [Activision] I said that I believed the best way to achieve commercial success was to provide gamers with the highest possible creative quality," he said. "The decision to stop production on True Crime is based solely on that belief."

This comes ahead of a rumoured announcement coming this Friday in the US (Saturday for Australia) from the publisher, where they will reveal an "exciting" new technology. We're also yet to hear from Halo-creators Bungie who signed a 10-year deal with Activision; ending their exclusive relationship with Microsoft, as well as Resistance-creators Insomniac who the publisher has also brought on-board.

Stay tuned for details of the forthcoming announcement and any other major shifts at the world's biggest third-party publisher.

activisionguitar herotrue crimeunited front gamesneversoft

Latest Comments
Posted 12:19pm 10/2/11
maybe they're going to focus all those people from those projects into getting diablo 3 out this decade?
Posted 12:38pm 10/2/11
I'd like to hope that none of this will have any real impact at all on anything Blizzard does. Activision seem to have made some pretty bad moves in the last couple of years that has resulted in way too many mediocre games and some serious IP fatigue on a bunch of it's franchises Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk and all their Marvel comics licensed stuff have all been driven into the ground and Call of Duty is at serious risk of ending up the same.

Optimistically, perhaps these latest moves are a circling of the wagons of sorts and we're going to see a revival of quality over quantity in the next couple of years.

Both Bungie and Insomniac have the opportunity to really flourish now that they've escaped the clutches of platform exclusivity. But then, we might have thought the same about Bizarre Creations as well :/
Posted 01:16pm 10/2/11
Blizzard and Activision share the name and any games they publish under that name after the merge. WoW and before aren't affected by that. At least that's how I think I grasped it when it all happened. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 01:21pm 10/2/11
yeah, they're largely separate companies, at the top end they share investors and CEOs, but there's very little cross-over otherwise, it just gives Blizzard a more suitable distribution channel, while Acti rakes in subscriber cash from WoW and the like
Posted 01:24pm 10/2/11
prediction: Activision to make its own console! :P
Posted 01:30pm 10/2/11
WTF? Ceasing Guitar Hero? Wasn't that one of their most lucrative titles under the Activision umbrella? I thought Guitar Hero was practically the 21st century 'The Sims'.
Posted 01:31pm 10/2/11
why on earth would they shelve a successful franchise like guitar hero?
don't they just throw a new skin on it, put some new tracks in and profit?

Here, like this:

1. new skin
2. new appendage on the "Guitar Hero" [name]
3. ???
4. profit
Posted 01:34pm 10/2/11
Lol, they've run the guitar franchise hero right into the ground now they're dropping it like a hot coal. What a self serving pack of c-words big publishers are. No wonder Blizzard and IW didn't want them f*****g with their IP.
Posted 01:37pm 10/2/11
Guitar Hero seemed like a money tree to me. You could bring that out every year with new songs and it will sell like FIFA 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

I don't get why you would drop it. Anyone know the answer?
Posted 01:42pm 10/2/11
Bobby Kotick said he'd run it to the ground, because it's the most profitable and easiest franchise besides Pokemon and Lego. Obviously it's starting to run dry, so people are jumping ship. Also they have Rock Band now, so they'll leech that one.
Posted 01:44pm 10/2/11
definitely heading the same way with COD this releasing a new one every year is f*****g ridiculous

i will definitely be looking at battlefield 3 closely when it comes out and look at getting off the money train
Posted 02:04pm 10/2/11
Haha paveway, I'm sure EA has a franchise that's been going for awhile as well.
Posted 02:20pm 10/2/11
i'm talking about the cod series in particular, recent years it's been one release every year because they have 2 f*****g studio's producing it which is what really pisses me off

battlefield hasn't had iterations released every year

Posted 02:22pm 10/2/11
Also they have Rock Band now, so they'll leech that one.

They don't have Rock Band, Harmonix are independantly owned again now. Thank god.
Posted 02:35pm 10/2/11
People still play music games?
Posted 03:38pm 10/2/11
People still play music games?

People still play games? Huehuehue.
Posted 12:34pm 11/2/11
...some serious IP fatigue on a bunch of it's franchises Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk...

I lol at the pairing of TH and GH... they're now both handled by the same development house 'Neversoft'...

The only worse example of 'copy pasta (insert current year here)' would be the EA Sports franchises... (but even those manage to improve on previous games...)

RB is where the music games are at... that being said, RB3 has some rubbish tracks on it...

As for Battlefield 3 or Homefront scenario... I get the shirts at the fact that as they release more and more of these games, it only seems to fragment the community of gamers that enjoy them... (I can't say I've whitnessed the same thing in any other game type...) :\
New game comes out 40-50% of the community switch across... it sucks, I tried to play BF1942 about 18 months ago... there were about 30-50ppl online playing it :(
Posted 01:15pm 11/2/11
that being said, RB3 has some rubbish tracks on it...

Yeah, but that really comes down to persona opinion, a friend of mine has packed his rockband full of Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot and other such music and I think its s***, but then he probably thinks the Billy Joel pack I downloaded is s*** :P
Posted 01:24pm 11/2/11
Because Rock band took it to the next level with the pro level guitar etc and Guitar hero did nothing.

There are certain types of songs that people want to play on guitar hero, namely songs that have awesome/good guitar parts in them, and they pretty much just ran out, and given that there really isn't any/much new content coming out that fits the genre, theres not much they can do.

They could have taken DJ hero further, given you an actual turntable and let you try and mix songs correctly.
Posted 02:01pm 11/2/11
They also announced Beachhead, a fourth Dev studio working on COD.
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