Activision Calls Rock Band a Guitar Hero Imitator
In a conference call to investors detailed at Gamasutra, Activision officials expressed their happiness with the performance of the Guitar Hero franchise, and said that they were “just getting started” with long-term development on the series. That should be no surprise to anyone, as it’s selling like hotcakes, and everyone I know has at least one copy in their house.
Then, Activison was asked how they felt about the upcoming Rock Band, and the competition it would surely provide for Guitar Hero. Their response? Unnamed ‘company officials’ said that it “wasn’t surprising that [the franchise] had attracted imitators.”
So, let me get this straight. Harmonix is ‘imitating’ the game they had a large part in creating? Am I the only one who thinks this makes no sense?
I mean, sure Rock Band will be competition for GH, just as subsequent GH titles will compete with Rock Band. It’s the nature of the business. But to accuse the developer behind GH of ‘imitating’ what at one time was their game?
I think that this might be sour grapes from Activision to a small extent. I mean, here’s Guitar Hero, and it’s a beast of a title. There’s never been anything like it before, and the sales reflect that. Now, Harmonix is going to bring along Rock Band, and it has to have Activision at least a little nervous.
Also, it’s important to remember that without really calling out Activision, Harmonix has said in interviews that Guitar Hero was created with a “tiny budget and a fraction of a year to build it.” Also, they mention MTV’s support, saying, “And we’re fortunate enough now to be in a position as part of MTV, where basically we’re being given the creative freedom and the resources to really make the huge game that we’ve wanted to make for years, which is Rock Band.” (Check the whole Harmonix interview)
So it’s also possible that these two companies are doing some subtle sniping over something that has not or may not become public knowledge. Whatever the case, it’s safe to assume that both Guitar Hero and Rock Band will be hugely popular in the coming years.