News Article

Guitar Hero 7 Was in Development With a Six-Stringed Guitar

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one"

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?


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User Comments (33)



Dr_42o said:

Guitar Hero was a dexterity test that has music and pretty colors..



New_3DaSh_XL said:

I have Guitar Hero for my 360. It's pretty good, but there's no reason I'd get another one.



CrazyOtto said:

I preferred Rock Band over Guitar Hero. I enjoyed Harmonix's Guitar Hero II but I didn't like Activision's games very much.



TheLohoped said:

Rock Band 3 was the pinnacle of the GH-RB series. The frequent DLC made it a really solid game.



Radbot42 said:

This sounds like it would have been a lot of fun and challenging, too bad they over milked the series. If they only kept the games maybe at one a year they would still be around



Schprocket said:

It's just MB's Simon sexed-up for the Noughties....

In spite of the tongue-in-cheek opener to this post that style of game can be a lot of fun, although as a guitar hack (not good enough to be a 'player') I think Rock Smith provides the 'evolution' of this genre that the team in this article were attempting - use a real guitar and learn how to play a real guitar



rodoubleb said:

Why not learn to play a real guitar. Start your own rock band. 1,000 times cooler than any video game.



PeterW77 said:

There is that guitar game out for pc and Xbox that let's you play a real guitar don't forget!



Supremeist said:

@rodoubleb Honestly, It's people like you that really bug me when it comes to music/party games. That's like saying when someone's playing Call of Duty, why don't they just become a Marine. Start your own army. 1,000 times cooler then any war game.

Hint: just because you play a certain video game revolving around a specific thing, doesn't mean you actually want to do that.



Supremeist said:

Anyway, the Guitar Hero franchise was always one of my favorites. With all the new ones coming out though, it did start getting stale but I still enjoyed them tons. I was really sad when they announced that the series ended. Hopefully they do make another game!

I was actually playing GH3 the other day..



SheldonRandoms said:

Guitar Hero always felt the same to me with every game, but still it was so much fun to start a band with a stupid name and jam out with your friends.



rayword45 said:

In a minor way, I feel connected to the people who play Madden and COD because of games like Rock Band, DDR and the like.

The gameplay is almost identical every time, but there are some changes (not to mention a new tracklist),

Also, after World Tour, GH became terrible anyways, so not worth a damn unfortunately. DJ Hero on the other hand was a fresh new title (which I predicted wrongly as a Beatmania rip-off) that didn't do nearly as well as it should've.



rayword45 said:

Also, I play Rock Band and real guitar, with some minor inspiration to start the latter because of the former. So that's a crappy argument.

Plus, as ryanthehedgehog said, why don't you just become a professional football player instead of play Madden. Why don't you just join the Mafia/Triads rather then play GTA. Instead of playing Mario, why don't you eat some mushrooms, go crazy, and kill a bunch of animals in search of a girl?



MetroidMasher17 said:

Strangely, I have always found it to be very difficult to play Guitar Hero, or the guitar on Rock Band, for that matter. Even though I play classical guitar. Of course, they're almost completely different, but it still strikes me as interesting.

More to the point, I do remember the series and how it became progressively worse. I remember going to Best Buy and just being assaulted by the number of GH titles available. Since I never really got into the series, I can't really say when it started to go downhill, but it doesn't really matter, as it's old news now.



Lobster said:

I'm glad that the whole genre has died off. It's a great idea in small amounts, but it really over saturated the market. Maybe one day I'd like to see GH7 come out, all spiffy the way it was intended, but not for at least five years.

Honestly, this type of game is excellent, but you really only need one or two really good ones in your library. The biggest problem is all the peripherals. Those two factors are probably why the bubble burst like it did.



rayword45 said:

There are major differences in unique rhythm games, so people claiming that they're too repetitive need to open their minds.

Go play Rhythm Heaven, play Flash Flash Revolution, then play Rock Band.

Huge difference. If all you've played is Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero World Tour, there's a problem.



Tasuki said:

I could never get into the Guitar Hero games. I have Guitar Hero Metallica but only cause it was Metallica.



SCAR said:

Ya this game got pretty sickening. The DLC wasn't even worth it most of the time... I agree with Ryan the Hedgehog in terms of 'go do it for real'. Besides, guitar has been around for centuries(in one form or another), and everyone pretty much screwed the instrument in terms of 'it's the coolest thing ever!'. People just play tabs, don't write their own music, have business people do everything for them, and think they're the best because they pretty much got drawn out of a hat for the mass appeal... Not saying they don't have any talent whether it be in music or not, but most bands don't even like their fans, fellow band members, the press, and probably not even themselves... I'm glad Guitar Hero is dead, and I hope it never comes back.



SCAR said:

It was fun while it lasted, no doubt, but it's dead. Move on.



AugustusOxy said:

I don't think guitar hero, as over popular and bad as it was, is dead at all. I think it was literally canned because they over exposed the hell out of it, and above all, wanted that lightning in a bottle over and over, giving everyone a new game every year until everybody was sick of it. In the end, they could have just got by and still be making money, but any more whenever a corporation gets something that is an instant success, they run it to death and over-saturate the hell out of it, instead of riding the wave calmly and smoothly.



RetrogamerFan said:

I got lots of fun with the series so i would be interested in a new release, but won't lose any sleep over it if it doesn't happen. I don't really agree that the releases were getting worse - at least in terms of the quality of each game. I quite enjoyed some of the new challenges introduced in later games. i thought the Keyboard for RB3 was a fantastic addition.
About the possible GH7 - if they were really struggling with the tracklist then i would agree it is defnintely time to give up with the series. There are still loads of songs out there i'd love to play on GH/RB, but i suppose its down to licensing costs and agreement of the artists/bands which will prevent a lot of tracks ever appearing.



Banker-Style said:

Guitar Hero was a good series,that was ruin because they release far too many games.They should have done a maximum of 2 games a year,a Band specific game,and a main entry in the series.

Rock Band was a fantastic series,3 and the Beatles Rock Band were principles of rhythm action games at the time.I always thought the series was better than GH.

And DJ Hero was an incredible series,1 started off as a decent introduction with some brilliant mixes,and fantastic gameplay,even if the career mode was a bit basic.But DJ Hero 2 was flawless,the mixes were perfect,the career was incredibly fun,the celebrity artists were the best yet(bar Daft Punk),the online was fun,and the multi-player was an incredibly improvement,and most of all this was a very creative game,with the brilliant freestyle sections,that made you feel like a DJ even more.

Just give us another DJ Hero Activision/



UnseatingKDawg said:

Still love the series. One of my top three to this day. It's better than Rock Band, and I will admit they definitely killed themselves in 2009. But at least they went out with a boom with Warriors. I'll just agree with my dad - they should revive with a KISS game.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@SCAR392: So, you're saying whenever a game series stops production, its bad to keep playing what we have and just "move on" to the next thing?



Dreadjaws said:


You took the words right out of my mouth, ryan. I hate this argument, yet it keeps showing up. I don't play this game because I like to play instruments. I play it because it's a fun rythm game.

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