Santa Monica, Calif. – Video game publisher Activision (NASD: ATVI) has
killed its underperforming "Guitar Hero" music video game franchise,
cancelling a planned 2011 installment and shutting down Red Octane, the studio
responsible for it which the company acquired for $100 million five years ago. "Due
to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision
Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its
Guitar Hero game for 2011," the company said.
"Given the considerable
licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply cannot
make these games profitably based on current economics and demand," CEO Eric
Hirshberg said on an earnings call.
The company also said it will discontinue
development on another planned title, "True Crime: Hong Kong."