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Guitar Hero Bites The Dust

Donald Bowers, Getty Images for Guinness World Records

It looks like the makers of the popular video game Guitar Hero have axed the plastic guitar game, due to failing sales.

But don’t put those fast, accurate fingers and thumb skills to waste — war games like Call of Duty and Wold of Warcraft are now more popular than ever.

It’s an ignominious exit for a title that was once touted as the first great game franchise of the 21st century. Guitar Hero was created in 2005 by indie studio RedOctane, in collaboration with Harmonix, which had previously found success with the Karaoke Revolution franchise.

How the mighty have fallen. The holiday season was a disastrous one for the music game genre. First Harmonix was sold by Viacom to a consortium of shareholders; the terms were undisclosed, but it was reported to be a fire sale. MTV Games, which collaborated with Harmonix on Rock Band, was shut down. Guitar Heroes: Warriors of Rock, the sixth title in the series, received lackluster reviews and even more lackluster sales. Activision posted a $233 million net loss for the fourth quarter. Its decision to lay off the 500-person Guitar Hero division was, Activision said in a press release today, “due to continued declines in the music genre.”

via Guitar Hero Gone: What Went Wrong?.

As sales peaked in 2008, the title has struggled since (the drop-off isn’t title-specific; sales for Rock Band plummeted around the same time).

Activision announced the franchise was losing money while the simulated war games Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft are both big money-makers. So the plastic replica guitars and drum sets may go the way of Pong.

via No More Windmills: Activision Kills ‘Guitar Hero’ : The Record : NPR.

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