By Joseph Leray
An anonymous source speaking with Kotaku called Vicarious Visions’ development of Guitar Hero 7 “a disaster.”
“They all had big ambitions,” the source said of the development team, noting that development started strong with a demo that introduced new locations and dynamic new camera techniques that moved along with each song. “I didn’t even like the song, but the demo gave me goosebumps,” the source continued.
Eventually, though, the team’s ideas outpaced the time and money needed to implement them: the team wanted to create a new guitar peripheral with more buttons and strum bars, but the prototypes proved too expensive to mass produce. “The strings were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make,” Kotaku’s source said. “No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one.”
As development time and costs increased, other aspects needed to be cut, including music licensing, art, and animation. Guitar Hero 7 was cancelled in 2011, about a year into production, after Activision president Eric Hirshberger visited the studio and left unsatisfied with the game’s progress.
I’m surprised that Guitar Hero 7 even made it into development. Activision released a glut of Hero games in 2010, even as games like Dance Central were moving the rhythm genre away from peripheral-based games. This is probably why, according to the source, the series’ previous developer, Neversoft, passed on the project.
In any case, a full account of Guitar Hero’s demise can be found at Kotaku.