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DJ Hero joins Guitar Hero on scrap heap

Activision cuts 500 jobs.

The DJ Hero franchise will follow Guitar Hero into the flames, publisher Activision has confirmed.

Speaking at an investor call today, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained that its entire music division was to close. It's not clear exactly how this will impact DJ Hero developer Freestyle Games nor Guitar Hero team Vicarious Visions, though the publisher confirmed that 500 jobs would be cut company-wide during restructuring.

Hirshberg explained that it was no longer possible to turn a profit on peripheral-based music games, no matter how well-reviewed they were.

"Despite a remarkable 92 rating on DJ Hero 2, a well-regarded Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as well as a 90-plus release from our most direct competitor, demand for peripheral based music games declined at a dramatic pace," Hirshberg stated.

"Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply can't make these games profitably based on current markets and demand."

It might not quite be game over for the Hero franchise though. You can still expect to see support for DLC.

"Instead, what we'll do is focus our time and money on marketing and supporting our strong catalogue of titles and downloadable content, especially for new consumers as the install base for hardware continues to grow," Hirshberg added.

All in all, it's a minor tragedy. Both DJ Hero games were first-rate, especially last year's effort, which won a glowing 9/10 from Eurogamer's Keza MacDonald.

"DJ Hero 2 is the freshest thing in rhythm gaming right now," she wrote, "a lifeline for people bored of guitars and drums and genre veterans craving the purer, simpler rhythm-action kick of a pre-Guitar Hero world."

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DJ Hero 2

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.