Activision 'abused' Guitar Hero, says ex-boss

"Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise," says former RedOctane chief

Activision "abused" Guitar Hero - and there's no reason that, in the right hands, the series cannot continue.

That's the heated opinion of Kelly Sumner, former CEO of RedOctane - the company which teamed up with Harmonix to create the original Guitar Hero games.


RedOctane was acquired by Activision in 2006 and (yep, you guessed it!) was shut down in February last year.

Speaking to weekly UK trade bible MCV, Sumner didn't sound too chuffed to see his series share the same fate:

"[Activision] tried to get too much out of the franchise too quickly. They abused it," he said. "There's no reason why Guitar Hero cannot continue. It's a great product. My gut tells me there is still a significant market for Guitar Hero.

"Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise, but maybe that's what Activision wants," he added. "I'd be surprised if they sold the brand as it'd prove to the world there is still a market for this product and show them up.

"Look at how Take-Two has handled GTA. They haven't thrown products out there. They've nurtured it for over ten years and it is still a strong franchise."

Sumner's comments echo those of M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon, who said last week that Activision had driven Guitar Hero into the ground.