Who remembers the Guitar Hero series? Not so long ago there were a lot of these games, with the rival Rock Band series also weighing in with its own share of titles and plastic peripherals. It was Activision's franchise that arguably grabbed the most attention during the music-rhythm game craze, with numerous spin-offs and entries flooding the marketplace in a short amount of time.

As the concept of pretending to play music with a plastic shell was such a money-spinner, Nintendo gamers got to join in with a number of titles on Wii and DS before the bubble started to burst. New details have emerged on the final title in the famous series that never made it to stores, Guitar Hero 7, with Kotaku being given the details be a source close to the doomed project.

According to this source, Vicarious Visions took up the project with lofty goals to take the franchise in a new direction, one of which was a new guitar peripheral with an extra fret button and actual strings in place of the traditional strum bar.

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!

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.

That wasn't the only issue, with the developer's bold plans to develop a new art style and more dynamic venues being crushed by the level of ambition on display; though an initial demo did impress.

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.

...When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain. 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.' There were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the GH franchises before.

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.

A visit from Activision president Eric Hirshberg, apparently with the game a year into development, brought the end of the project. Many agreed that the series — and its rivals — had become over-exposed and bloated, sapping the public's enthusiasm in the process. It's now been over two years since the last Guitar Hero title, with no word of any more in the works.

What do you think of this tale of development woe, and would you like to see the Guitar Hero franchise make a comeback in the future?

[via kotaku.com, eurogamer.net]