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‘Guitar Hero’ Discontinued by Activision Distributor

by Kelly MacNeil on February 10, 2011

Due to increasing licensing and manufacturing costs, 'Guitar Hero' is no longer a profit for its distributor, Activision, and will be discontinued in 2011, according to PC Mag.

The 'Guitar Hero' franchise, which premiered in 2005, allows video gamers to simulate playing rock music by using specialized controllers in the shape of guitars.

The February 10 PC Mag report also mentioned a recent lawsuit besetting Activision from musician Axl Rose and his band Guns 'N' Roses, who sued the company for $20 million over the song "Welcome to the Jungle."

"Over the past two years, we have seen rapid declines in the music genre, and unfortunately, based on current demand, we simply cannot continue to profitably make these games," announced Activision on their website.

Guitar Hero, which was first introduced in 2005, was produced by RedOctane and Harmonix, reports CNN. Thursday's announcement comes as an "ignominious exit for a title that was once touted as the first great game franchise of the 21st century," according to Chris Taylor of Mashable.

Guitar Hero became a sudden hit in 2005, selling more than 1.5 million units, according to Wired Magazine. The game was so popular that Activision quickly released Guitar Hero II, which sold in the range of 4 million units, and Guitar Hero III, released in fall of 2007.

Activision's present decision to cancel the entire Guitar Hero franchise comes three months after Viacom also cited decreased sales and therefore sold its Rock Band franchise in 2010, a game similar to Guitar Hero, according to TechSpot.

Activision, which produces popular games such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot and James Bond games, is a division of Activision Blizzard, which had a 2010 net revenue of $4.45 billion built mainly on its Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises, according to MSN

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