Kotick Fingers DJ Hero for Guitar Hero's Demise

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Kotick Fingers DJ Hero for Guitar Hero's Demise

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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says it was the dramatic failure of DJ Hero that led to the decision to pull the plug on the Guitar Hero franchise.

Guitar Hero stands as one of the most spectacular rise-and-fall stories in the history of the videogame industry. It single-handedly created what was briefly the most popular genre on the market, led Activision to spend nearly $100 million to acquire publisher RedOctane in 2007, and then as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone. Activision closed down RedOctane in early 2010 and announced the end of the Guitar Hero franchise a year later. It's enough to make a person wonder, what the hell happened?

According to Kotick, DJ Hero happened. "We were resting on the idea that one of the essential fantasies of videogames is to unleash your inner rock star," he said in an interview with Forbes. "And it didn't really matter how you did that, but as long as you were allowing people to unleash their inner rock star fantasies, you'd continue to be successful. So we went off on a passion project that had a point of differentiation - which is called DJ Hero."

The problem, he explained, and which he admitted the company probably could have figured out fairly easily if anybody had bothered to stop and think about it for a minute, is that it's relatively easy to unleash your inner DJ in the real world, with a simple deck or a Mac, leaving the game with "a very small market." But because Activision was so focused on DJ Hero, Guitar Hero was left to coast, with predictable results.

"It was the double whammy of DJ Hero was unsuccessful, and then Guitar Hero became unsuccessful because it didn't have any nourishment and care," Kotick said. "So we made what I think was exactly the right decision last year. We said, you know what, we need to regain our audience interest, and we really need to deliver inspired innovation. So we're going to take the products out of the market, and we're not going to tell anybody what we're doing for awhile, but we're going to stop selling Guitar Hero altogether."

But he also reaffirmed that Guitar Hero is not dead, just resting for awhile. "We're going to go back to the studios and we're going to use new studios and reinvent Guitar Hero," he added. "And so that's what we're doing with it now."

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With all the time Kotick spends with his thumb up his bum, I doubt DJ Hero is all he's been fingering for failure.

C mon Kotick give CoD a rest while you are at it :P

Umm the reason that DJ Hero failed (at least in my country) is because it was INSANELY PRICED when released! Nobody and I mean nobody coughed up the €250 for that game. I know a lot of gamers and I have never even heard anybody mention this beyond "too expensive". Now its €59.99 and people still don't want it. It took so long to be affordable people stopped caring.

Wait. It was failure? I loved that game.

Oh I see, he means failure in the making money sense, because they were being too greedy and overpriced the hardware. So, you can just turn that finger around and point it at yourself KoDick.

I don't think it had solely to do with DJ Hero.

He almost says himself that they oversaturated the marktet by admitting that they pulled Guitar Hero altogether just so they can wait for the audience to regain their interest.

Yeah, it had nothing to do with flooding the market.

For.I.Am.Mad:
Yeah, it had nothing to do with flooding the market.

Huh, Kotick not understand? Why flooding market bad?

So he's basically saying that DJ Hero Killed Guitar Hero. I call BS. As someone just said the reason DJ failed is because no one wanted to pay 160 for a game and a plastic turntable. It was overpriced from day one hell the original GH was only $80 plus tax.

I agree with Paranoid, Kotick should give COD while he's at it. He may not want to see it but there are people out there that realizes it's same game over with very little new. You could say that about GH too but it was the songs that made the games.

DJ Hero killed the Guitar Hero star... Anyway, how the hell did this man get to be CEO of one the biggest video game companies? Having even an once of intelligence doesn't seem to be a relevant job skill...

Ryan_26:
So he's basically saying that DJ Hero Killed Guitar Hero. I call BS. As someone just said the reason DJ failed is because no one wanted to pay 160 for a game and a plastic turntable. It was overpriced from day one hell the original GH was only $80 plus tax.

I agree with Paranoid, Kotick should give COD while he's at it. He may not want to see it but there are people out there that realizes it's same game over with very little new. You could say that about GH too but it was the songs that made the games.

Intelligent people says it's dead, the other 12 million people who buys it every year are saying otherwise.

But he also reaffirmed that Guitar Hero is not dead, just resting for awhile. "We're going to go back to the studios and we're going to use new studios and reinvent Guitar Hero," he added. "And so that's what we're doing with it now."

So... The headline is a misnomer, then?

Oh, so the insane pricing of its release combined with the ridiculous milking of the Guitar Hero franchise has nothing to do with it? Bullshit.

DJ hero had some great tracks and was quite fun.

Untill I read the ful title this was quite creepy...

I didnt play DJ hero, it didnt interest me. But kotick ian idiot, how did he ever manage to get rich ? He clearly knows fuck all.

So DJ Hero killed Guitar Hero? I loved that game! Oh, you mean in the financial sense. Maybe revise your pricing then, lads. So I guess it wasn't releasing 11 "Hero" games in the past 3 years.

This is why Activision sucks. They milk a property for all it has and then blame its fall on something else.

I could've sworn critics loved DJ Hero and loved DJ Hero 2 even more. Sounds like he's spouting some bull to make it seem like Guitar Hero is still a popular title.

SupahGamuh:

Ryan_26:
So he's basically saying that DJ Hero Killed Guitar Hero. I call BS. As someone just said the reason DJ failed is because no one wanted to pay 160 for a game and a plastic turntable. It was overpriced from day one hell the original GH was only $80 plus tax.

I agree with Paranoid, Kotick should give COD while he's at it. He may not want to see it but there are people out there that realizes it's same game over with very little new. You could say that about GH too but it was the songs that made the games.

Intelligent people says it's dead, the other 12 million people who buys it every year are saying otherwise.

On the topic of this, I agree and disagree at the same time: I wouldn't completely rest the Call of Duty franchise, but I'd also space out the distance of the games to build a little more interest (maybe 2 or 3 years between games).

With this, it's not so much a waning interest so much as it is there's not too much more you can do with this franchise. There's the Korean War and the Gulf War that are about the only things that Call of Duty HASN'T touched on yet, and let's face it, World War 1, the War of 1812, the Revolutionary War, and various other wars that have gone on in the past of humanity would NOT make for interesting games. There's not much left to do with the Call of Duty franchise save making it into a futuristic warfare game a la Halo or go in a more cyberpunkish direction a la Deus Ex.

This is why Call of Duty games need to be spaced out a little bit. The sad thing about it? I'm not even a FAN of the Call of Duty games (or military shooters in general) and I'm making these suggestions.

Kotick is full of shit. He's just using DJ Hero as a pariah.

Ever consider that perhaps FLOODING THE MARKET with music titles year after year might have caused an already shaky genre (the rhythm action market in Japan was already on the decline before 2007) to collapse?

If you ask me, the popularity of the genre hit its peak near the end of 2007 (right around when they bought Red Octane) and then declined gradually. Sales for the games might have been steady, but shortly after GH: World Tour, people realized what it was that they were playing (or in my case, that the new music selection mostly sucked; they ran out of awesome songs they could license.) and just got bored or backed off.

By the time 2010 rolled around, you had insane licensing costs per song (higher prices for supply which had only been increasing each year) combined with falling demand and an over-abundance of existing titles on the market. So when DJ Hero crashed it wasn't due to the merits of the game, but the market it was released in.
Naturally, Kotick blames DJ Hero because he sees terrible returns per unit; the cost for production was so high they had to price it higher to make returns (including the new controller, natch) which just drove demand further into the toilet.

It's a situation that wouldn't have occurred if *HE* (and Activision) hadn't shoved so many cash-in titles onto the market in such a short time.

Why does bobby kodick still try to talk? He should just shut up and hire a PR to speak because anytime he speaks he just puts his foot in his mouth.

Typical Kotick; blaming everyone but himself for Guitar Hero's fall. "It was DJ Hero's fault. I was so stupid; I should have seen the signs and kept that awful game off the market. Now an entire franchise and genre is dead. Stupid DJ Hero..."

They fact that they bought out their rivals, DJ Scratch, and fired all of them to create a monopoly for DJ Hero probably didn't help either.

It might have just been Guitar Hero losing its novelty. That's how I feel. I don't hate the games, even for their over abundance of cash-ins (doesn't stop me from enjoying CoD). I just lost interest in them.

Maybe it was just a fad, whose time has now passed.

no I think it was crappy Guitar Hero games that did it hahaa

Rock Band's doing...okay, altho they've started to pump out less than stellar stuff too. still better than Guitar Hero (3 and onwards) tho

I thought DJ Hero was a joke when I first heard about it, so yeah.

But Kotick is full of shit anyway, Guitar Hero failed because it stagnated very fast and new tracks costed, what, 1 euro a piece?

I personally think that the lack of new music licenses is what did it. They were at the point where they were reusing songs and not very many people want to play 2000's pop music in guitar hero.

GIVE ME GUITAR HERO JUDAS PRIEST!

Andy Chalk:

But he also reaffirmed that Guitar Hero is not dead, just resting for awhile.

Surprised that he didn't start going on about the franchise's beautiful plumage.

For.I.Am.Mad:
Yeah, it had nothing to do with flooding the market.

Absolutely not.

*plays Guitar Hero: Modern Lovers Edition*

Further, if it was DJ hero's fault, which I doubt, it makes no sense to pull the Guitar Hero franchise in response. I mean, I know the last game sold poorly. This is why I doubt it was DJ hero that was the problem.

I think there's a couple major problems with DJ HEro:

1. I don't think there's the same market, TBH. It's not just about the ease of which one can be a DJ in the real world, but the overlap of DJs and gamers. I think the reason GH took off is because it fit a niche on the venn diagram of gamers. That's not to say nobody liked DJH or it was bad or there as NO market, but they expected another Guitar Hero. And were willing to push it til it broke.

2. Cost vs benefit: Not only could you get your own gear for the cost of the game, you could get a dual deck table. I don't know why they left this element out, because single-decks are kind of...Lame. I know Guitar Hero Guitars are stripped down, but they're still essentially the whole instrument simulated. I think you're missing half the experience with DJH.

3 Timing. Guitar Hero was already in a slump. It didn't need ten iterative titles, and it didn't need a new franchise to further saturate or even possibly compete with it. Makes blaming DJH even funnier.

I sometimes wonder if Bobby is just trolling us when he says stuff like this.

Whatever, Prototype II's coming out next year. I will curb stomp so many 'fools'.....

He might be full of shit in a general sense, but most people are still actually agreeing with him here.

He's not saying DJ Hero caused Guitar Hero to fail. He's saying as a company they backed the wrong product. i.e. they spent most of their cash DJ hero, and next to nothing on Guitar Hero. Nobody bought DJ Hero (the reason why this is is actually irrelevant), and because they didn't invest in Guitar Hero, nobody wanted that anymore either.

I can't really see why this is so controversial.

DJ Hero looked very stupid and pointless. But, hey, I never played it. It could be a good game, for all I know. But seriously, when most gamers already have the guitars, the microphone, and the drum set for Guitar Hero, was Kodick REALLY expecting them to go out and pay every penny for an entire turn table for DJ Hero? I don't think so.

Micalas:
With all the time Kotick spends with his thumb up his bum, I doubt DJ Hero is all he's been fingering for failure.

the best response ive ever heard

He fingered WHAT!? Excuse me while I laugh uncontrollably.

Didn't Activision say DJ Hero wasn't a failure, just a slow starter? Now it's a failure responsible for a different game's popularity collapsing? It's like they don't know what they are talking about...

We just have to wait until they create Call of Duty: Ancient Warfare which will require you to buy a $2000 suit of armour peripheral, which will ultimately fail and thus be responsible for Activision's other Modern Warfare clones dieing off. Assuming 12 year olds stop buying them, which will never happen.

EDIT:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103787-DJ-Hero-Dev-F-cking-Mad-to-Call-Game-a-Failure

There you go, the developers are calling their boss "fucking mad". Go Bobby, fire them! FIRE THEM ALL (including yourself)!

Yeah, because Guitar Hero's downfall wasn't oversaturation of the market in such a small timeframe, competitors that added things to the experience, lack of DLC and the ability to transfer old songs into newer iterations of the series, and increasingly awful soundtracks as the series went on...wait, what?

-|-:
He might be full of shit in a general sense, but most people are still actually agreeing with him here.

He's not saying DJ Hero caused Guitar Hero to fail. He's saying as a company they backed the wrong product. i.e. they spent most of their cash DJ hero, and next to nothing on Guitar Hero. Nobody bought DJ Hero (the reason why this is is actually irrelevant), and because they didn't invest in Guitar Hero, nobody wanted that anymore either.

I can't really see why this is so controversial.

Because he's still using a scapegoat. Instead of coming out and just saying, "Hey, sorry, we done goofed." He said, "IT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF DJ HERO!"

No, they could have easily co-existed. ActiviBlizzard has the money, hell they don't actually pay their employees evidently, so really, they should have tons of money.

Maybe it is because the most recent GH games were subpar at best, maybe it's because you were forcing them out the door year after year. Maybe it's because the market was flooded with the same game.

Goddamn, I hope he kills CoD the same way, then his only cash cows will be Blizzard games and hopefully Blizzard can get the hell out.

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