2005 was a big year. Mean Girls hit movie theaters, Doctor Who came back on the air, and Guitar Hero was the video game craze taking the world by storm. Launched by Activision in 2005, the Guitar Hero series contains five sequels and a large number of band themed spin-offs. It, and its sister-rock video game series Rock Band, took the world by storm. The games were praised for getting people interested in different kinds of music, as well as bonding people together in their love of music.
But in 2011, Activision discontinued its Guitar Hero franchise. Rock Band just went into quiet obscurity, only after three sequels and a small number of spin-offs. The decline in music themed video games started in 2008, around the same time as the recession. Not because people still didn’t love them, but perhaps as an obvious side-effect of the recession. Buying an initial Rock Band or Guitar Hero game was expensive, as you had to buy all of the side instruments and controllers with it too.
But back in March of this year, it was announced by Harmonix that Rock Band 4 would be released sometime this year. And just earlier today, they made announcements that their product will “set the bar for what music video games should be.”
Perhaps in the greatest coincidence ever, Activision announced that they would be putting out a new game called Guitar Hero Live sometime later this year as well. They’ve even made a trailer and teamed up with musicians like Gerard Way to promote it. One of the things that you have to look forward to in Guitar Hero Live is a new, specially designed controller. Guitar Hero Live will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PS3, and Nintendo Wii U. Rock Band 4 will only be coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – but they’ve teamed up with the company Mad Catz to supposedly give people new instruments to play on. The new game will also support the DLC that made Rock Band popular.
You can expect to see songs by The War On Drugs, The Killers, The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, Ed Sheeran, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and the Rolling Stones on the new Guitar Hero Live. The video game also is revamped, making the video game play seem like you’re on the stage instead of watching another band play. There’s also a mode where you can play while your favorite music videos are playing in the background. The new Rock Band 4 will have the 2000 songs that have been made for the Rock Band franchise since the first game.
So will this mean more music-themed games in the future? Depending on how these new games do, it’s a definite possibility. And with new music coming out every day, it’s a genre of video games that has limitless potential.
Image Cred: Gerard Way