Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Hints to the Return of Guitar Hero

There may be a future for Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero


  • Bobby Kotick recently did an interview with Windows Central talking about Activision.
  • He hinted at the re-emergence of Guitar Hero.
  • The series has seen a great decline with the critical failure of Guitar Hero Live.
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Guitar Hero is easily one of the biggest titles to have been introduced into the world of gaming. It was a pop culture staple of the mid-2000s that continued to see success until around 2009, when sales began to plummet.


While the popularity of the music based game may have been short lived, it was nevertheless a household name for many families. It would likely be difficult to find someone, whether a gamer or not, who has never heard of Guitar Hero.

The original game was created out of a partnership between Harmonix and RedOctane, which were two studios that both provided unique skills for such a build. Harmonix specialized in music based video games and RedOctane made customized controllers.


Activision entered the mix and acquired RedOctane in 2006 with the goal of gaining the Guitar Hero intellectual property. The company was also interested in purchasing Harmonix, but the studio was ultimately taken by MTV Games. Harmonix would go on to produce Rock Band and Activision would continue to build the Guitar Hero franchise.

It appeared the rest was history, however, Windows Central recently conducted an interview with the Activision CEO, Bobby Kotick, who mentioned a potential Guitar Hero revival. While the discussion covered everything from Microsoft to Elon Musk, Kotick also took a moment to reference the famed music franchise.


The Last Guitar Hero Installment And What Kotick Had to Say About the Future

Guitar Hero Live was announced in 2015 with the goal of reviving the franchise, however it ultimately failed.
Guitar Hero Live was announced in 2015 with the goal of reviving the franchise, however it ultimately failed.

It has been quite a surprise for the gaming industry to hear the Activision CEO talk about Guitar Hero, especially since the series has been plagued with failure in recent memory. The last installment was Guitar Hero Live, which was developed internally by Activision under the FreeStyleGames banner.

Guitar Hero Live was such a commercial failure that it led to layoffs of over half the developers under FreeStyleGames. It also resulted in Ubisoft purchasing the division from Activision.

In 2020, all of the Guitar Hero servers were shut down on PlayStation 3, and with the Wii online service also shut down, the only console which still caters to online play is the Xbox 360.


The gaming industry has been hit hard with layoffs in the past few months, so it is understandable that Guitar Hero could be a sensitive topic. That said, Bobby Kotick may see a light at the end of the tunnel for the franchise, as suggested by the aforementioned interview.

While talking about the research Microsoft has conducted into various areas of gaming, Kotick expressed that Activision is in a great position to make high quality games. In this discussion, the CEO also took the opportunity to name drop Guitar Hero and had the following to say:


And so being able to tap into their AI and machine learning capability, the data analytics, new ways of thinking about graphics — I just see unlimited potential for what we do,

We’re uniquely situated as a company because we have the very best franchises in all of video games.

The re-emergence of Guitar Hero and other things would not be possible without the different types of resources. And so, you know, just the endless possibilities for the future that are just incredibly exciting.

It appears based on Kotick’s statement that there is in fact a Guitar Hero revitalization in the works, which would be helmed by Activision. Although he provides no specifics on what he meant by “re-emergence” it may not be a big jump to say the franchise is still kicking.

The future of Guitar Hero could lead to a variety of outcomes.
The future of Guitar Hero could lead to a variety of outcomes.

Although there is no way to know exactly what could happen, a Guitar Hero revival might result in a plethora of outcomes.

It would not be surprising to see some hesitance from gamers when considering a return to that world.


However, it is also possible that through detailed research Microsoft has discovered a way to restore the Activision title. There is no telling what celebrities or gameplay mechanics could be the key to bringing back what felt like a very dead Guitar Hero.

Only time will tell how the future of this franchise will play out, but it will certainly be an interesting result. What do you think of a possible Guitar Hero revival? Would you play a new version of the game? Make sure to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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Written by Ezekiel Hall

Articles Published: 169

Ezekiel is an avid gamer, film enthusiast, and has a love for technology. When he has free time you are most likely to find him playing something on PlayStation or binge watching a new show. He is a fan of all things DC, Marvel, and Star Wars.