Activision: “Nothing but love” for Harmonix, key to revitalizing Guitar Hero is innovation

Thursday, 9 December 2010 06:58 GMT By Nathan Grayson


Rock Band, Guitar Hero, how about tossing aside your grudges and getting the old band back together?

Wait, Power Gig, what are you doing here? No, you’re not invited. Stay away! Shoo!

During an interview with IndustryGamers, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg was asked about his thoughts on potentially burying the hatchet with Harmonix and giving the recently forsaken developer back its old plastic axe.

“I can’t comment on that, for obvious reasons. I can tell you I’ve got a ton of respect for Harmonix, and I agree with everything you’ve said about them. They’re a hell of a developer, and very innovative, and I’ve got nothing but love for them. As a fan, I can certainly say they are a great developer and they’ve done a great job in this space,” he said.

Harmonix, of course, was the original brain behind Guitar Hero – before Activision acquired Red Octane and put Neversoft behind the wheel instead.

Speaking of Guitar Hero, Hirshberg didn’t try to hide the fact that the franchise seems to have entered its Fat Elvis stage as of late.

“It’s no secret that not just Guitar Hero, but also Rock Band, and the music category in general, do not have the same mass appeal today that they did a few years ago,” he confessed. “That said, I think that we would be foolish to not try and build on the strength of the Guitar Hero brand, because as you said, it’s a pretty strong brand with great recognition and great likability, and there’s a lot to work with there.”

“I think the road to rejuvenating that category goes through innovation.”

“I just think we need to escalate the experience for people and innovate. I think the genre is still fairly new, and so I think it’s probably time for us to really look at what the next level looks like for that genre,” he concluded.

To those about to publish games about those about to pretend to rock, we salute you.