Guitar Hero Franchise Dies, Music Industry Loses

image from img.hexus.net Activision has terminated the division that designed Guitar Hero and it's follow-ups. Since 2005, there have been roughly twelve titles in the franchise.

That's six main titles and six expansions.

Warriors of Rock, the most recent title, sold fewer than 100,000 copies during its debut month.

Due to market saturation and diminishing novelty, the music video game series grew stagnate in recent years and failed to achieve financial projections.

While some musicians and critics will dance on the grave of Guitar Hero, the music industry has grounds to mourn. The game did many things it failed to.

1) It Sold Music. Music video games sold songs faster than labels and created demand for artists from the back catalog. Every song included in the Guitar Hero III title saw a sales increase between 15% to 843%. Fans wanted to listen to the music that they heard in the game. In a period of decline in the sales of recorded music, Guitar Hero sold downloads. Few things have achieved this difficult feat.

2) Created Cross-Over Hits. Songs like "Cowboys From Hell" by Pantera and "Through the Fire and Flames" by DragonForce, among numerous others, found unlikely exposure among fans they would've otherwise never reached. From old music to new music, Guitar Hero had the power to generate cross-over hits with both core and casual music fans of all kinds; it helped them discover new music.

3) It Made Music Social. Record listening parties might be one the rise in the UK, but Guitar Hero made music social across all demographics. From bars to parties to the living room, the video game brought people together to interact with and listen to music. People watched other people play Guitar Hero just because.

4) Reignited Guitar Culture. Guitar Hero may not have taught anyone how to play a real guitar, but it certainly taught an entire generation of kids old-school rock classics, the power of riffs, and the magic of the solo. These days, guitar culture is fading away. There simply aren't renowned guitarists anymore. The game reignited interest in many of history's greatest soloists and players.

Share on:

1 Comment

  1. That last point is spot on. I was teaching saxophone and clarinet lessons at a music store when the first Guitar Hero came out. Over the next two years, the store was inundated with kids who wanted to play guitar. They hired more teachers and built more studios and still had a long waiting list for guitar lessons. Two of my students quit to take guitar lessons, and the owner of the store was always moving my schedule around so that he could put guitar lessons in my studio. Eventually, I was down to just one student, so I quit. I’m not bitter, though. It was really hard to motivate kids to play woodwinds, but I could see that they were truly excited about playing the guitar. I was glad to see that.

Comments are closed.