Bobby Kotick Strongly Hints At A Revival Of The Iconic Guitar Hero Franchise

Guitar Hero, at one point, was one of the biggest gaming franchises globally.

Story Highlights

  • Activision-Blizzard recently held an all-hands meeting to discuss the company’s future, where CEO Bobby Kotick strongly hinted at a potential revival of Guitar Hero.
  • He also discussed how future gaming technology will soon allow the company to do things it has never been able to accomplish.
  • Interestingly enough, the subject of using Neuralink or something similar to control games on a screen without a controller was also discussed in the meeting.

Activision-Blizzard recently held an all-hands meeting with the company staff to discuss several topics, some of which appear rather interesting (thanks, Windows Central). Bobby Kotick mentioned how future gaming technology will be pivotal in allowing the company to do things it hasn’t done before, saying Microsoft can help with future gaming research. One of the potential series for this would be Guitar Hero, as hinted by Kotick. 

The topic of machine learning and AI was discussed in the meeting, and it seems as though the company might use that for some franchises. Kotick stated, “Being able to tap into their AI and machine learning capability, the data analytics, new ways of thinking about graphics—I just see unlimited potential for what we do.” The mention of Guitar Hero came up in that context, hinting that it could be revived with the future tech.

The re-emergence of Guitar Hero and other things would not be possible without the different types of resources. And so, you know, just the endless possibilities for the future that are just incredibly exciting,” says Bobby Kotick.

For the uninitiated, Guitar Hero was at one point one of the biggest video game franchises. Harmonix and RedOctane created it, but Activision acquired the rights to the IP in 2006, which will now be transferred to Microsoft after the acquisition. The series has remained dormant since 2015, and this meeting hints at a potential revival with the help of future gaming technology. 

YouTube video

The meeting discussed several topics concerning the company’s future, emphasizing the research and development side and how Microsoft will offer massive support in that aspect. Bobby Kotick first expanded on the potential of new technology, specifically AI and machine learning. He also talked about how the elevation in graphics quality means even more writing and acting talent will be required to satisfy players.

Kotick then compared video games to film and television, expanding on how the two differ regarding the emotional connection between the game and the audience. The characters need facial animation and mouth movements that accurately and realistically represent their emotions. He said, “You’re going to have a new dimension of emotional connection that we’ve not yet mastered.

One of the most interesting ways we can imagine playing the game with future capabilities is with Neuralink, which was mentioned in the meeting. Kotick discussed using Neuralink or something similar to interact with video games instead of a controller in the future. How it would translate is still unclear, but it does open up many creative opportunities.

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Guitar Hero was first released in 2005 and rose to fame in only a few years. However, the poor sales of Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero in 2009 led the series to its downfall. Activision announced a hiatus for the series in 2011 and released Guitar Hero Live in October 2015. It was considered a reboot of the series but still failed to meet expectations. The developer studio, FreeStyleGames, then suffered from layoffs and was soon sold to Ubisoft.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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