Guitar Hero Franchise to Include More Instruments in the Future

guitar hero

Industry analyst Janco predicted it back in August and now an interview with Activison CEO Bobby Lotick over on Conde Nast Portfolio, confirms that new additions to the Guitar Hero franchise will indeed include additional instruments.

“It’s not just about guitars. We’ll include a lot of other instruments, vocals.”

Kotick also commented that the merger with Vivendi will benefit the GH franchise by it having access to the Universal Music Group’s library thus broadening the game‘s appeal. Cool, maybe this means we will finally see some Godsmack in the near future – say what you will about them, it would be fun to play “Keep Away” and “Alive”. Just think, if vocals were added you could try and mimic Sully’s trademark scream.

According to Kotick:

“The artist’s relevance and importance to 17-year olds change in a way that you could never get in any other medium. Forty per cent of [Guitar Hero] users are women. The age appeal is something we’ve never seen before: 7 year-olds who have no idea who Aerosmith is are playing the band’s music on Guitar Hero. So are 45-year olds who spent a good portion of their lives following the band around.”

I can actually agree with those numbers because the majority of my female friends, which are not gamers at all, love to play Guitar Hero. Heck, my Mom even likes to play the game and she is lucky to be able to surf the internet and check her email. Sorry Mom.


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29 Comments on Guitar Hero Franchise to Include More Instruments in the Future


On April 22, 2008 at 9:15 am

As much as I’m ready to yell “Copy Cats!” at Guitar Hero, this is going to be good for all of us gamers since now we’ll be able to play songs with any instruments we want, instead of just a guitar. I’d love to sing “The Metal” by Tenacious D, but all I’m stuck with is playing guitar -_-


On April 22, 2008 at 11:18 am

Wouldnt really be guitar hero then would it????

da soc

On April 22, 2008 at 9:02 pm

So they’re ripping off rock band



On April 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm



On April 22, 2008 at 10:51 pm

holy penis batman!


On April 22, 2008 at 11:14 pm

im excited about this. i have every guitar hero game and rock band. i only play rock band for the drums. hopefully with the next guitar hero they will continue to release a few free songs unlinke rock band does. ive had many free downloads for guitar hero but only 1 for rock band.


On April 22, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Didn’t guitar hero come out before rockband? I think you’ve got this whole ripping off thing backwards. A whole new style of gaming vs a few extra instruments… not quite the same.

n00b Pwner

On April 23, 2008 at 12:09 am

Actually, the makers of Rock Band were
the ones who made Guitar Hero 1&2. Therefore
if future installments of GH use more
instruments, they ARE in fact ripping off
Rock Band.


On April 23, 2008 at 12:12 am

Actually, Athena, the company that produced Guitar Hero 1 and 2 went on to create Rock Band, when the rights to the Guitar Hero franchise were bought by another company (which produced GH3).

So TECHNICALLY, Rock Band is the next step by the original company, while GH3 is a spin-off.

I personally think they should just join together if they’re both going to provide more instruments… get more big name bands for the same, rather than splitting them up. But that’s just me.


On April 23, 2008 at 12:24 am

Oh wait didn’t frequency and amplitude come out before guitar hero too. Seems guitar hero wasn’t too original either not to mention beatmania and DDR defined music games as a genre that it is today.


On April 23, 2008 at 12:42 am

Your an idiot.


On April 23, 2008 at 12:42 am



On April 23, 2008 at 12:51 am

With Activision’s stance on making the Rock Band guitars not be compatible with GH (and vice versa) I’m sure the other intruments won’t be either. Imagine what Gamespot’s compatibility chart will look like then. I’m not dropping $80 for a Guitar Hero drum kit when I have a perfectly working RB one. Unless they pull out some amazing song lists and game upgrades, they won’t have my sale. GH:Aerosmith is not a good sign.


On April 23, 2008 at 1:35 am

Rock Band’s graphical interface is terrible. I love playing the game, but I can barely see the difference between normal guitar notes and hammer-ons, and the whole visual scheme is just too toned-down. I’m all for seeing the GH graphics applied to other instruments. It’ll also cause the two companies to have to compete in song lists, gameplay, AND quality of peripherals. As for who’s ripping who off, who gives a crap? We as consumers only stand to benefit from a wider selection. If the new Multi-Instrumentalist Hero sucks, then you don’t have to buy it.


On April 23, 2008 at 1:56 am


You do realize Harmonix made Amplitude and Frequency right?


On April 23, 2008 at 3:28 am

ok lets be realistic here.
the only thing that wasnt involved in a previous game is the drums.

karaoke revolution spawned the vocals.
guitar hero the guitar and bass.
the note queues from a multitude of games.

point being is that stelvis is mostly right.

we can all benefit from this.

competing companies = competing prices, competing song lists, etc, etc.

stop being a bunch of fanboys and see the big picture. this can only produce better games.

Mr. Man

On April 23, 2008 at 8:09 am

Donkey Konga!


On April 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

well ya I’d say it be better for us gamers… to have a super sweet wider selection… plus maybe if GH gets drums you’ll have the option to download you own songs….


On April 23, 2008 at 9:22 am

To what Daniel said. Guitar hero came out first, although they did not have extra instruments like Rock Band does, Rock Band copied off Guitar Hero’s entire idea.

I’d have to say that Guitar Hero was just stepping it up a notch so that their copy-cat rivals wouldn’t receive all of the guitar/drum playing revenue.

Who’s really the copy-cat?

Know it All

On April 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

You need to read up on history, Brandon. Harmonix created Amplitude and Frequency, which spawned the rhythm gaming genre. They then went on to create Karaoke Revolution, which is where RB gets its vocal mechanics from. They then teamed up with then peripheral maker and new game publisher Red Octane to produce Guitar Hero, which was largely influenced by the Japanese arcade game, GuitarFreaks from Konami. Between GH1 and GH2, Red Octane was purchased by Activision and the relationship with Harmonix and Red Octane became a little muddied. Harmonix wanted to branch into the whole-band concept, but Red Octane (probably pressured by Activision) was against it, not wanting to break the mold that they “co-created”. During development of GH2, Harmonix started shopping the idea of Rock Band to interested developers and MTV caught wind. MTV Networks, in a bold move, purchased Harmonix just as GH2 was nearing completion. Because of the acquisition, Harmonix was no longer tied to the GH franchise (being publisher, Red Octane gets the franchise). MTV and Harmonix then waited until the release of GH2 for the 360 to announce their plans to release RB, which had at this point already been underway for some time. At the same time, Neversoft (Tony Hawk series) was picked to be the new developer for GH3. Because Harmonix owned the engine for the previous games, it had to be completely rewritten from the ground up, thus allowing Red Octane the chance to step up in the development process. So, this whole ‘who copied who’ argument really boils down to this….Harmonix made both games….Red Octane is just carrying on with it. And with this “more instruments” announcement, it appears that Red Octane is now copying Harmonix, seeing as they wanted nothing to do with a whole band experience not long ago.

Oh, and to the guy who says that the interface is weak and you can’t tell the difference between hammer-ons/pull-offs and normal notes…wwwwaaaaa!!!! I have no problem discerning between the two, and I’m using a 12-year old 27″ standard definition television. I’m glad they changed it up, it looks better and less cartoony.


On April 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Thank you, Know it All! You saved those of us in the know a lot of typing. That should end the copycat arguement. In the end, Harmonix is hands down THE name in music-centered gaming. The evolution from Frequency to RB has been nothing short of spectacular. But really, I just had to jump on here and address this GH3 mania that I see is afoot. I LOVED GH1 and 2 and the third is simply dreadful in comparison. I’m not going to argue song selection as both GH3 and RB have great choices in my opinion. What does make a huge difference is the actual gameplay of GH3. The note charts Neversoft devised for this title are non-intuitive and cumbersome. It never feels as natural and realistic as the other two did. Obviously, Harmonix and their musically talented staff, have a flair for translating how it feels to really play for those of us that lack real musical talent. In the end, that’s why we play them. Every guitar player I know abandoned the franchise due to this serious shortcoming. On a side note, I think it was genius that Harmonix made the fretboards transparent to solve the “googly vision” problem those of us who play for hours and days on end had suffered from. I think Neversoft made a decent foray into this genre considering their lack of experience in comparison to Harmonix, but there’s just no beating the real thing. I can’t wait to see what these guys give us next!!! :razz:

Mr Rock Band

On April 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Thanks Know it All for the history lesson. Who cares who ripping whose idea. As long as Activision is making the new GH better who cares who comes up with the idea first. I doubt Harmonix is the first to come up with the rock band idea either. Why would you say Activision is copying Harmonix? Just because Activision want to add more instruments to GH doesn’t mean they are going to make a rockband game. Harmonix got lucky because their rockband idea works and now you fanboys said all music games will be treated as copycat of rockband? What a moron.


On April 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Guitar Hero is garbage. DLC is non-existent (too far and few between to even be noticed as a serious attempt at providing such content to it’s users.) A patch is released to broaden the usage of the GH3 controller, but Activision block it’s release.

No thanks. I grew up with Activision, but unless they put something out that’s spectacular (and complete), then I won’t be buying anything from Activision for a while.

I own both games, and the only reason for Rock Band’s popularity is it’s scope – and content. Which is a shame, because I much prefer the guitar game from Guitar Hero a bit more – but it doesn’t help when the guitar lags and the game skips (which never happened with Rock Band.)

It’s just not the same company it was back in the day.


On April 25, 2008 at 12:15 am

Honestly, if GH goes on to include more instruments in future installments I’m going to drop the franchise.

This has nothing to do with copying, though this does seem a bit “follow the leader”. I bought GH3 because it was a bit cheaper and there wasn’t a Rock Band for Wii. In the end, though, Rock Band looks far more polished (both graphically and gameplay wise) and Harmonix can offer some ‘niche’ songs which I really and appreciate and don’t expect to see in GH anymore. (Freezepop, They Might be Giants (Trogdor – homestar runner), Johnathan Coultan (Portal – Still Alive), etc…)

Although Dragonforce was nice to have, gameplay wise, you’ve got to admit, every bonus song in GH3 was either or mediocre.

Game Quiz

On May 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I can’t imagine a company that was so successful to ever consider quitting after Guitar hero and to only predict to expand

guitar hero 4ever Ed

On June 11, 2008 at 2:04 am

Rock band just copied the entire idea of guitar hero even the coloured buttons are the same(green , red, yellow, blue and orange). i guess guitar hero wanted to bite rock band back :???:

rockband for ev

On June 23, 2008 at 6:10 pm

rockband is far better than GH3 i should know i own both the only cool thing about GH4 is the cymbols being added to the drum kit. the only way i will buy this game is if it works with rockband controllers or has a drum kit only release and everything else is compatible.


On June 24, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Rock band copied off of guitar hero! i hate rock band and would never buy it. guitar hero was a great game, but then they copied off of it and pretty much all the people who own guitar hero went off and bought rock band. im glad guitar hero is going to get back at them and use drums and mics. in guitar hero 4


On June 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I know this is an old article, but I can’t stand people being so oblivious!

Let’s go back in time: Harmonix releases Frequency in 2001, a music game where you play all the instruments in a band (vocals, guitar, bass, drums) on a “note highway”. March 24, 2003: Harmonix releases Amplitude, a successor to Frequency with similar game mechanics. Here you can see how it’s starting to look like what Guitar Hero looks like now:
On November 8th, 2005, Guitar Hero is released by HARMONIX. Harmonix decided to make the game more realistic by having it be controlled by a plastic guitar peripheral instead of a controller. After guitar hero, Harmonix wants to add more peripherals to the game and make it a full-band game, but Red Octane, who Harmonix teamed up with to make Guitar Hero, doesn’t like the idea. Harmonix leaves Guitar Hero and teams up with MTV to make Rock Band. Red Octane continues Guitar Hero by teaming up with Neversoft. Now Guitar Hero has decided that a full-band game WAS a good idea, after seeing Rock Band’s success, and they added peripherals of their own to make Guitar Hero full-band as well.

To sum it up for those of you who didn’t want to read the whole thing:

-Harmonix (Rock Band) STARTED Guitar Hero, so in no way are they copying it with Rock Band.

-However, Neversoft and Red Octane (Guitar Hero) ARE copying Rock Band, by making Guitar Hero a full-band game, which they didn’t even consider until they saw Rock Band’s success!