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Harmonix will "happily welcome" GH users

Rock Band dev hails fallen competitor.

Rock Band developer and original Guitar Hero creator Harmonix has paid tribute to Activision's recently axed franchise - and encouraged users to hop on over to its brand.

A blog post on the Rock Band forum penned by community manager John Drake began by offering commiserations to Guitar Hero staff affected by the series' demise.

"We were sad to hear yesterday that Activision was discontinuing development on Guitar Hero. Our thoughts are with those who are losing their jobs, and we wish them the best of luck."

Drake went on to insist that even though the "discontinuation of Guitar Hero is discouraging news for fans of the band game genre" Rock Band was laying down plans to ensure the series' survival.

He highlighted the game's "robust digital platform", "innovative new Pro Mode and "imminent release of the Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitar Controller" as signs that the studio would "continue to push beyond simple performance simulation to pioneer new approaches to music gaming."

"In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on," he surmised, before proceeding to pitch for new customers.

"For rhythm gamers out there who haven't yet given Rock Band a chance, Rock Band 3 software is compatible with a wide range of instruments, including most Guitar Hero controllers. Looking to the future, for fans that want to switch, we'd happily welcome you over into the world of Rock Band."

Although it's now custodian of the Rock Band franchise, Harmonix created the Guitar Hero concept back in 2005 with publisher Red Octane. Activision bought the latter in 2006 following the release of Guitar Hero II, while Viacom subsidiary MTV Games snapped up the former.

Viacom recently offloaded Harmonix in a $50 management buy-out, in the wake of the well-documented music gaming slump that did for Guitar Hero.

"It's been a wild battle of the bands since 2007," concluded Drake's post, "but we respect and appreciate all of the hard work and innovation of our peers who have shared the music gaming space with us, and we look forward to rocking in the future."