Kotick Fingers DJ Hero for Guitar Hero's Demise

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Kotick Fingers DJ Hero for Guitar Hero's Demise


Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says it was the dramatic failure of Guitar Hero [http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-DJ-Hero-Bundle-Turntable/dp/B0028ZNX68/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311265429&sr=8-1] 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 [http://blogs.forbes.com/davidewalt/2011/07/20/activision-blizzard-bobby-kotick-innovation/]. "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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Micalas

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Mar 5, 2011
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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.
 

EonEire

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Feb 7, 2008
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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.
 

dillinger88

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Jan 6, 2010
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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.
 

JuliusMagnus

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Mar 23, 2008
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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.
 

Ryan_26

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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.
 

Rylot

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May 14, 2010
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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...
 

Rad Party God

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Feb 23, 2010
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Ryan_26 said:
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.
 

Callate

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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?
 

Sixties Spidey

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Jan 24, 2008
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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.
 

mitchell271

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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.
 

MorsePacific

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Nov 5, 2008
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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.
 

Sean Strife

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Jan 29, 2010
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SupahGamuh said:
Ryan_26 said:
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.
 

Atmos Duality

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Mar 3, 2010
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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.
 

mxfox408

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Apr 4, 2010
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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.