A new report has shed light on the never-released Guitar Hero 7, which would have been based around a new six-string guitar peripheral.
The game would have taken the series back to its roots by removing drum and microphone support, a source told Kotaku.
The peripheral was "not a real guitar, or even [fully] six-stringed", the source described. "It had the classic Guitar Hero buttons on the neck with one extra new button, and six strings where the strum bar used to be. Yay! Now they have an extra button and five more strum bars!
"The strings were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make. No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one."
Guitar Hero 7 was in development at the franchise's Nintendo team Vicarious Visions (regular developer Neversoft had "passed" on the project). The developer had "big ambitions" for the game, and originally wanted to create dynamic locations which adapted to each song. But development hit problems when the scope of this undertaking became clear.
"The locations were going to match the songs. Each song would have it's own music video. It was a nice idea, and some of the concepts looked great," the source added. "Then they realized they didn't have any songs.
"When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain. The game had all of the worst hits from the 1990s. They realized that with our lack of budget and time, they couldn't get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like 'Closing time' and 'Sex and Candy'.
"They realised that with a setlist of over 80 songs, a music video unique to each song was out of scope. So pretty much every song was in [two locations] - the tomb or the back of the moving truck - with different lighting and camera cuts, and maybe a little graffiti.
"So they had a game that looked bad, had bad music, had very limited venues, and more was getting cut as time went on."
The project was shut down and staff let go shortly after a visit from Activision president Eric Hirshberg, a year into the game's planned two-year cycle.
The last Guitar Hero game released was Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock in 2010. It was a limp seller compared to the series high standards; the music game bubble had burst and Guitar Hero was put officially "on hiatus".