It wasn’t that long ago that Guitar Hero was the hottest thing in gaming, and it also temporarily saved the music business for a little while as well.
At first a lot of bands were reluctant to come aboard, but once they saw Guitar Hero as another income stream, they came aboard in droves, and made a ton of money as a result.
First of all, it made a lot of money for the musicians in an era when nobody was paying for music anymore, and it also inspired a lot of kids to pick up real guitars themselves. Many of them found it a whole different world than playing a video game, and on the other end of the spectrum, many musicians also found it challenging to play their own songs in a video game format.
Then all of the sudden, poof! Guitar Hero was done without much fanfare or notice. The gaming industry is very manic depressive in this regard, and it seemed like the whole Guitar Hero phenomenon ended as quickly as it started. It wasn’t something that even we gave much thought to until we stumbled upon an interview several years ago from Slash, who was the boss character for the game.
As Slash told the site gunshyassassin, the demise of Guitar Hero was "inevitable." So why couldn’t this game hang in there and become an eternal classic like, say, Pac Man? Because the classic video games don’t have music that’s expensive to license from rock stars. Not to mention that once sales went down for the game, it was simple economics from there. “It was too costly to produce the game as a result,” Slash continued.
As assassin further reports, the word on the street from gaming insiders was that the game was indeed "too costly to get bands to agree to having their music used...It just wasn’t worth it for Activision anymore. They’d pay all this cash to get the hottest tracks from your favorite bands, but then weren’t breaking even on the back end."
So there it goes, here today, gone tomorrow, but we still miss the Guitar Hero games and hope some day they can make a comeback. We’re also hoping the gamers that started playing guitar for real haven’t given up and will keep playing. Maybe some day they can help bring music back, and we’ll have Guitar Hero to thank.