Are you ready to rock? Guitar Hero, the Activision Blizzard game that transformed players into rock ’and’ roll legends, first burst onto the video game scene in 2005. Unfortunately, it fell out of rhythm with gaming trends, and a new version hasn’t been released since 2015.
But shortly after Microsoft announced its plans to acquire the video game conglomeration for $68.7 billion, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer made comments that have wannabe guitar gods dusting off their instrument-shaped controllers and getting ready to riff. “I was looking at the [intellectual property] list; I mean, let’s go! King’s Quest and Guitar Hero,” he told The Washington Post.
“We are hoping that we will be able to work with [the studios] when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood and that the teams really want to get,” Spencer explained. “I am looking forward to these conversations. I think it is about adding resources and increasing capability.”
Activision Blizzard’s Guitar Hero Has Made Billions in Revenue
Over a decade, 25 different versions of Guitar Hero have been released. The last version was Guitar Hero Live in 2015. To date, the series has sold more than 25 million units and generated over $2 billion in revenue. Guitar Hero is a popular game in the rhythm action genre. Those usually focus on dance moves or simulated musical instruments and require players to hit a series of buttons in a sequence dictated by the game.
In Activision’s Guitar Hero, players get the opportunity to channel their inner rock stars using a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing lead, rhythm, or bass guitar along to famous rock anthems, including Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
Bobby Kotick, the founder and CEO of Activision, is confident Microsoft has the resources to resurrect beloved games such as Guitar Hero. “You look at all the opportunities that we get with a company like Microsoft. I’ll give you one great example. Phil [Spencer] and I started riffing on things for the future. I wanted to make a new Guitar Hero for a while, but I don’t want to add teams to do manufacturing and supply chain and QA for manufacturing,” Kotick said. “And the chip shortages are enormous. We couldn’t do that. I had a really cool vision for what the next Guitar Hero would be and realized we don’t have the resources to do that.”
The Future Looks Sweet for Another Popular Franchise Game
In addition to Guitar Hero, Kotick suggested that Candy Crush could get a significant boost once Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard. “I really want to be able to have a Candy Crush experience where players can play games against each other. And they can socialize. And they can have voice over IP and video over IP,” he said. “That is a more social game, but it is rooted in being able to play the game against another person or other people. There is nothing but opportunity for the kinds of things that we can not do on our own and the resources that they have for us to just make a difference.”
It will be exciting to see what happens in the next year and which classic Activision games get new life under the influence of Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer.