The gaming world was shaken (though perhaps not too unexpectedly) by the news that the Guitar Hero franchise has been effectively ended. Competing developer Harmonix caught wind of this downfall, and have released a statement in an attempt to calm any fears fans of the Rock Band series may have.
As spotted on the Rock Band forums, Developer John Drake stated that the team was “sad to hear” the news, and that their “thoughts are with those who are losing their jobs.” He also mentions that the “discontinuation of Guitar Hero is discouraging news for fans of the band game genre,” also acknowledging that retail sales of both series of games have slowed over time. But the company has remained “focused on building a robust digital platform for music gaming and have recently crested 2,500 songs available for play within Rock Band 3.” Mr. Drake goes further to explain that Harmonix is “looking forward to the imminent release of the Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitar Controller, a fully functional guitar which doubles as a Rock Band Pro controller.” The Rock Band Network is also set to undergo a relaunch, which will apparently allow for bands of all sizes to get their content up for sale on the platform in a different way than before. The posting ends as such:
It’s been a wild battle of the bands since 2007, but we respect and appreciate all of the hard work and innovation of our peers who have shared the music gaming space with us, and we look forward to rocking in the future.
So, will a relaunch of the RBN and continued focus on digital content save Harmonix from suffering from the same fate as Guitar and DJ Hero, or has their recent departure from MTV Games/Viacom already sealed their fate? Let us know what you think in the comments below.