Guitar Hero games pretty much used to be a yearly series. Year after year Activision would churn out new entries.
But in 2010, Guitar Hero came to a screeching halt. Warriors of Rock was the last release, and it doesn’t sound like Activision will be refreshing it anytime soon.
Interestingly, before Activision put the hammer down on Guitar Hero, Vicarious Visions was working on Guitar Hero 7. It was only midway through its development that the project was canned and Guitar Hero entered retirement.
Kotaku spoke with a source and corroborated rumored details about the title, which we’ve posted below.
- Rocky development cycle
- Only guitar-based
- No drumming, singing, or anything else
- Source describes development as a “disaster”
- Source: “This amazing thing was a six stringed guitar. Not a real guitar, or even full six-stringed. It had the classic Guitar Hero buttons on the neck with one extra new button, and six strings where the strum bar used to be. YAY! Now they have an extra button and five more strum bars!”
- Early samples of the new GH7 guitar were made
- These weren’t up to snuff
- Source: “The strings were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make. No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one.”
- Development had originally started well
- Vicarious Visions started making the game after Neversoft moved on
- Source: “(The demo’s) [venue] had camera cuts that were unique to the song being played. The venue was amazing and animated, and each time something in the song changed the venue would also. I didn’t even like the song, but the demo gave me goosebumps.”
- The malleability of the venue would be a core idea for Guitar Hero 7
- Players could play songs in different venues like before
- Playing a song successfully in a venue would cause the venue to begin changing in ways specific to that song
Source: “They all had very big ambitions”
- Problems plagued the creation of the game almost immediately
- Team decided to make the game from scratch
- Legacy characters scrapped
- New art style
- Didn’t leave time for character customization
- Some questionable aesthetic choices resulted in “characters [whose] necks were over a foot long… They all looked like they were punched in the face.”
- The morphing venue concept was too unwieldy and the game began to collapse under the weight of the developers’ “big ambitions”
- Source: “They started designing locations. A tomb, the back of a moving truck. The locations were going to match the songs. Each song would have it’s own music video. It was a nice idea, and some of the concepts looked great. Then they realized they didn’t have any songs. Everything was being built around ‘Turn The Page – Metallica,’ and ‘A Thing Called Love – The Darkness.’ They’d change the venues and animations as the songs came in.
- Source: “When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain,” the source continued. “The game had all of the worst hits from the 1990′s. They realized that, with our lack of budget and time, they couldn’t get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like ‘Closing time’ and ‘Sex and Candy.’ here were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the GH franchises before.
- Source: “When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain.”
- Source: “They realized that with a setlist of over 80 songs, a music video unique to each song was out of scope as well. So pretty much every song was in the tomb or the back of the moving truck, with different lighting and camera cuts, and maybe a little graffiti. So they had a game that looked bad, had bad music, had very limited venues, and more was getting cut as time went on.”
- Was intended to have a 2 year dev cycle
- Development cut short around halfway through
- Activision president Eric Hirshberg visited the studio, checked out the game, and was apparently not moved to keep things going
- Development was stopped shortly after Hirshberg’s visit and members of the team were let go