Gamers are undoubtedly aware that Guitar Hero has finally seen its final swan song courtesy of Activision.

While I’m sure that some view it as a sign of relief, it can’t help but be tinged by a hint of sadness. After all, Guitar Hero paved the way for a whole new genre (and a closet filled with tons of plastic instruments), as well as a respectable competitor in Rock Band. But really, the “Guitar War” broke down into a “Coke Vs. Pepsi” matter of choice. It was simply a matter of what appealed to the player’s personal preferences more.

So what killed it, really? I would think the multiple updates per year didn’t help matters. Rock Band put out three main entries, three spn offs, and a portable version for PSP. Harmonix did the first two Guitar Hero games and one spin-off before Activision took over. Activision did its regular “annualization” of the franchise like it does to pretty much everything else… except that it released multiple entries per year, spin-off series…. It became too much, and the series just ran itself into the ground. There’s only so many titles one can afford, and only so much space for the multiple new accessories being put out each year.

In reality, music games just need to be broken down to DLC unless they were to majorly reinvent the wheel (I think annual sports games could stand to do the same, but that’s my opinion). The genre in many respects, is stagnant in evolution, and its appeal remains in just what favorite songs can be downloaded. It’s too much to ask consumers to keep shelling out for multiple titles per year, though retail is where companies still make their money.

Is the market oversaturated? Well, not as much these days now. It’s a shame that the pioneer game of the genre met with such a needless and unspectacular end. Does this mean the end of the music genre? Hard to say. Rock Band is now unchallenged, and whther it chooses to take advantage of that or remain complacent is now up to the developers. Guitar Hero may have actually survived a little longer had it not been run into the ground the way it had been, but as long as there are living room rock star wannabees, and good-natured social gatherings in one’s living room, the genre will last a little longer.

But for how much longer…?

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