Guitar Hero "Abused" By Activision, Says Former RedOctane Head

By M.H. Williams

Guitar Hero to store shelves says that Activision led to the brand’s downfall. Former RedOctane CEO Kelly Sumner says that the publisher abused the franchise, one he helped them acquire in the first place.

“It was brilliant. Everybody wants to be a rock star and there was nothing like this on the market at the time. Best of all it involved everybody in the room. It was a great party experience,” Sumner told MCV.

Activision acquired RedOctane and the Guitar Hero brand in 2006. In February of last year, the publisher finally closed down the RedOctane division

[But Activision] tried to get too much out of the franchise too quickly. They abused it. 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,” he said.

“Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise, but maybe that’s what Activision wants,” Sumner continued. “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.”

Sumner also highlighted a publisher who has been handling their franchises rather well: Take-Two.

“Look at how Take-Two has handled GTA. They haven’t thrown products out there. They’ve nurtured it for over 10 years and it is still a strong franchise.”

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