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Activision is one of the elements people tend to point to when discussing how the rhythm genre collapsed. Between 2006 and 2011, there was at least one new “Hero”-related release from the company each year.

Original Guitar Hero developer Harmonix believes that Activision did play a role in the decline of rhythm games, but feels that the publisher wasn’t the only factor.

Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos wrote in a Reddit AMA held earlier today:

I think there’s probably some truth to the notion that Activision “over-published” Guitar Hero. But I wouldn’t agree that the decline of the genre was “entirely the fault of Activision”. Reality is always more complicated than this. For example, it didn’t help that GH and RB were the most expensive video games on the market during a brutal recession. I also don’t think that either GH or RB delivered enough (or the right kind of) evolution of the experience in the years that followed the initial releases–something we hope to address at some point in the next outing.

[M]usic games need to evolve just like every aspect of pop culture. The band game boom was followed by a dance game boom, which will be followed by some other manifestation of music games–hopefully some of the new stuff Harmonix is working on! Music is a permanent aspect of the human experience, and so is gameplay. It’s Harmonix’s job to figure out new ways for music and gameplay to amplify each other’s emotional power.

Source, Via