NPR logo

No More Windmills: Activision Kills 'Guitar Hero'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133654860/133660897" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
No More Windmills: Activision Kills 'Guitar Hero'

Music Articles

No More Windmills: Activision Kills 'Guitar Hero'

No More Windmills: Activision Kills 'Guitar Hero'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133654860/133660897" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Activision produced many versions of the game, including Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Warriors of Rock and Modern Hits. Courtesy of Activision hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Activision

Activision produced many versions of the game, including Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Warriors of Rock and Modern Hits.

Courtesy of Activision

It seems guns sell better than guitars. The company that makes the video game Guitar Hero announced Thursday it will stop manufacturing the game. After its introduction in 2005, Guitar Hero quickly became a gaming staple.

The first two versions were available only on Sony's PlayStation consoles. But sales were so successful that living-room guitar shredders were soon able to jam with their favorite classic rock bands on just about all gaming platforms. For a while, the series was a cash cow for its maker, Activision Blizzard, Inc. It raked in about $1.7 billion in just three years. To play the game, users had to shell out for guitar-shaped controllers as well as software. New songs could be purchased individually or in themed packs. A competing game, Rock Band, was introduced in 2007.

But sales peaked in 2008, and 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.

Article continues after sponsorship

It's not yet time go scrounging for discarded guitars and microphones at neighborhood yard sales. While Activision will not manufacture new versions of the games or the instruments to play them on, new music will be available as digital downloads.