Guitar Hero was a spike in the timeline of the video game industry.
But in spite of improvements across the board with two of the highest profile titles in the music genre of the industry, interest in the games has been waning. Activision Blizzard—the publisher of the Guitar Hero franchise—announced on Feb. 9 that it will discontinue the franchise, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The series, first launched in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, was a critical hit, but sales have declined over the years with successive releases. According the the AP report:
Game industry analysts have long lamented the "weakness in the music genre," as they call it — that is, the inability of the games' makers to drum up demand for the products after a surge in popularity in the mid-2000s. Music games are often more expensive than your typical shoot-em up game because they require guitars, microphones and other musical instruments. While extra songs can be purchased for download, this isn't enough to keep the games profitable.
Activision's shares tumbled after the announcement, but investors were more concerned with the disappointing financial forecast from the company than the demise of "Guitar Hero." As far as investors go, discontinuing an unprofitable product isn't the end of the world, even if "Guitar Hero" fans disagree.
Activision has yet to release an official statement about the decision or the AP report, but at this stage, it appears that the 2010 release of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is the final installment in the franchise. There is no word on whether new songs will be released as downloadable content moving forward.