There's further bad news emerging from Activision, in the form of more game and DLC cancellations. Yesterday we confirmed that 2011's Guitar Hero and the new True Crime had been cancelled. However, it now appears that the Guitar Hero franchise may be well and truly over. An FAQ on the official DJ Hero website has confirmed that they are not working on any more Guitar Hero games, and adds that there will not be any more Guitar Hero DLC released after the "February Mega Pack" that hit the marketplace on Tuesday.
We also informed you of layoffs at Freestyle Games, developers of the DJ Hero franchise, but the future of that game was unclear. Unfortunately, a statement has now appeared on the official DJ Hero website stating that DJ Hero 3 has indeed been cancelled too:
Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's DJ Hero business unit and discontinue development on its DJ Hero game for 2011.These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world's best interactive entertainment experiences.The FAQ mentioned above also states that there will not be any more DJ Hero DLC either.
Activision Publishing's CEO Eric Hirshberg commented on the Hero games in Activision's Q4 2010 earnings call:
Although we did well with the core gamer in 2010, we felt the effects of changing consumer demand for peripheral-based and mid-tier titles, which performed well below our expectations.It was also confirmed yesterday that the near-complete True Crime: Hong Kong had been cancelled. Hirschberg was a little more upfront when explaining the reason for True Crime's cancellation:
After two years of steeply declining sales, we've made the decision to close our Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on our previously playing Guitar Hero title for 2011.
Despite a remarkable 92 rating on DJ Hero 2, a widely well-regarded Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as well as the 90-plus rated release from our most direct competitor, demand for peripheral-based music games declined at a dramatic pace.
Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply cannot make these games profitably based on current economics and demand.
...we announced our decision to discontinue development on True Crime: Hong Kong. Even our most optimistic internal projections show that continued investment is not going to lead to a title at or near the top of the competitive open-world genre. In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, to be blunt, it just wasn't going to be good enough.In news which may be met with mixed emotions bearing in mind the performance of the last two instalments in the series, Activision's COO Thomas Tippl also confirmed that there will not be a Tony Hawk skateboarding game released in 2011.
So what is Activision actually planning to release this year? Well, it has already been confirmed that there will be a new Call of Duty game, but you knew that anyway. You can expect a new game based on the X-Men franchise to be tied in to the release of the new "X-Men: First Class" film; similarly, Transformers 3 will be released alongside Michael Bay's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" film. A new Spider-man game will be released, and the next instalment of the Cabela's Hunting franchise is still in development.
Finally, Hirschman confirmed that there will be games based on the "toy phenomenon Bakugan" and "hit TV shows Wipeout and Family Guy". There is also another game that Activision aren't yet ready to announce; further details on this will follow later in the year. It is unconfirmed on which platforms these games will be released, and release dates haven't been confirmed for them either.