Activision: Guitar Hero still alive

True Crime would have scored 80+.

Guitar Hero is still alive, Activision has said.

It's just "on hiatus".

"Actually, just to clarify, we're just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus, we're not ending it," Activision head of developer relations Dan Winters explained to Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz.

"We're releasing products out of the vault - we'll continue to sustain the channel, the brand won't go away. We're just not making a new one for next year, that's all."

Earlier this year Activision shocked the gaming world when it announced the closure of its Guitar Hero business.

"Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011," explained the publisher.

Since then Activision has continued to sell track packs for Guitar Hero and Freestyle Games' DJ Hero.

Meanwhile, Winters said open world gangster game True Crime: Hong Kong, axed by Activision alongside Guitar Hero, would have scored 80 plus review scores.

Activision pulled the plug on True Crime: Hong Kong in January, explaining, "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."

Winters countered that initial statement, however. "We think that the game was tracking to be a very good game.

"The question was really the size of the prize based on how good it could be. We are confident that thing would have been 80 plus. 85 maybe. They're a really talented group at United Front.

"We were really confident that they were tracking towards a very good game. The challenges in the market place right now, when you're talking about open-world games that are going to compete with titles like Red Dead Redemption, expectations for the consumer are really high.

"That would have been, and still might end up being, a very successful mid-tier opportunity for someone. But, as I said, we changed our business model to where we were going to change our business model to focus disproportionately on three big, huge monsters. Those three monsters are the Bungie, Call of Duty and Spyro titles.

"So that left the True Crime title being a mid-tier opportunity which we felt was an opportunity cost against other things. But we have a lot of confidence in the quality of the studio and the quality of the title, just not in the scale of the opportunity."

Activision's decision to drop True Crime sparked redundancies at developer United Front Games.

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