Guitar Hero was so immensely popular that, between it and its rival Rock Band, the plastic instrument rhythm game scene collapsed, fizzling out as quickly as it took off. We haven't seen a brand new entry for about eight years. It's sort of good, because it means we don't have guitar-shaped controllers taking up space anymore. But, it's also kinda bad, because those games are awesome. Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, seemingly agrees, if recent comments are anything to go by.
He recently called an all-hands meeting to discuss the future of his company, which is close to being acquired by Microsoft for nearly $70 billion. The meeting goes over subjects such as Activision's journey so far, retaining company culture post-buyout, machine learning and AI, and the need to hire more writers and actors to meet player expectations.
When talking about future technology, such as VR, Elon Musk's Neuralink, and AI systems, Kotick goes on to talk about Microsoft's heavy investment in research, and how that will aid Activision in the long term. As an example, he brings up Guitar Hero, making it sound like the franchise is on its way back. "The re-emergence of Guitar Hero and other things would not be possible without the different types of resources," he said. "And so, you know, just the endless possibilities for the future that are just incredibly exciting."
As VGC points out, Kotick also mentioned Guitar Hero at a previous meeting earlier in the year, where he talked about how AI could have a "profound positive impact" on game development.
"If you take an example of a thing like Guitar Hero, I’ve always had this vision for what a new Guitar Hero product could be, but without having AI […] and then the processors embedded either in phones, in computers, or in game consoles, that allow you to actually have the speed of processing to enable that AI, we’ve never been in a place where AI is going to have practical reality and applicability for games until now," he said.
So, it's not a capital C confirmation of a new Guitar Hero, but it does seem like the series is something he's keen to bring back in some fashion.
Would you like to see Guitar Hero make a comeback? Waggle that whammy bar in the comments section below.