"Guitar Hero is still relevant," says Activision

Next Generationsat down with Activision Senior Vice President of Marketing Bill Kassoy on Friday to discuss Guitar Hero, EA's competing Rock Band, and casual games for Wii. "There was a lot of unmet demand due to controller shortage with the release of the first Guitar Hero," Kassoy said when asked about the franchise's massive success. "As a result, we invested heavily in ramping up production of Guitar Hero II to meet demand."

Activision, the number two independent game publisher, says the series is one of the fastest growing brands of all time. The company is currently preparing to release the third installment this fall next to EA's Rock Band, a game that some are calling the "Guitar Hero killer."

"Don't underestimate Red Octane's hardware," Kassoy responded when asked about EA's highly anticipated and more diverse music game. Rock Band not only features guitar, but drums, bass, and vocals all simultaneously.

Harmonix, who developed the first two Guitar Hero games for Activision before moving on to EA to develop Rock Band, only have experience in software development said Kassoy, suggesting that Rock Band's hardware and software combination may not match Guitar Hero's proven experience. He also stressed the expected price differential of both games, saying that Rock Band will cost several times more than Guitar Hero when considering all the additional instrument controllers of the former.

Read the full article onNext Generation.

July 16, 2007