Bigredcoat

Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Now, if they sold this to Neverhood, that’d have been neat..

Posted by nfinit on January 23, 2007

Those of you keeping up with this sort of thing already know about Harmonix selling off the rights to the Guitar Hero franchise to Neversoft, and the possible implications. Those of you who don’t know about this already fall into two camps– one, those who don’t know what Guitar Hero is, and those of you who are fans of Guitar Hero are wondering who Neversoft if they need to go ahead and crack open a bottle of Royal Crown. For the former, I implore you to go find someone (preferably someone who knows what they are doing) playing Guitar Hero, It’s one of those games you really need to see played to tell if younullre a fan of it or not. Personally, I’m a big fan of it even though I’m utterly incompetent at playing it. For the latter– Neversoft are the guys who make Tony Hawk games. Well, now Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero.

If I knew anything about music, I’d feel compelled to make some pithy comparison about The Sex Pistols selling their back catalog to Green Day. Since I know nothing about music, instead I’ll make a lame comparison about The Sex Pistols selling their back catalog to Green Day.

Now I’m not going to say this is going to lead to something terrible, after all it’s not fair to judge Neversoft’s vision of Guitar Hero before they’ve even typed up any code, but reading the Game Daily Interview with Red Octane’s Dusty Welch, a Guitar Hero fan can’t help but be… well, scared for his life, really.

Internalizing development allows for more control of the creative elements of the game and, in this instance, provides for a much more robust and feature laden franchise. We believe that having the talented group at Neversoft, with their unprecedented string of market success with the billion dollar Tony Hawk franchise, develop the next Guitar Hero game will allow us to vastly enrich the consumer experience. We are excited to further the music and rhythm-based videogame genre, and Neversoft has the full experience, knowledge, and talent to do this.

Okay. Some buzz-speak, but he is management. Not too bad.

“We have tremendous respect for, and greatly appreciate, everything that Harmonix has done for the Guitar Hero franchise. Their vision has always aligned with ours from the start. In looking toward the future, we believe it was a natural and neutral decision for us to look at other opportunities. We look forward to partnering with Neversoft’s development team, and can’t wait to show our fans what we have in store for them.”

Wow, that’s… that’s a lot of buzz-speak. Guitar Hero fans are probably squirming in their seats right about now…

“Neversoft has a long-standing and trusted reputation for developing great games that appeal to our core target demographic, and we’re definitely excited they’re on board!”

Those of you remembering Tony Hawk’s Underground– which extensively incorporated Bam fucking Margera– are probably grinding their plastic fretboards between their teeth right now. Save your teeth, it’s about to get far, far worse.

“Neversoft’s talents and extensive experience working within the skateboarding and music culture are already adding tremendous value to Guitar Hero‘s core tenet of fulfilling the fantasy of becoming a rock star.”

The blurred vision you may be experiencing right now is a direct result of spending the past five minutes slamming your head into the nearest wall. For the sake of your long term memory, please don’t re-read the above.

Now, I’m not saying this automatically going to be a Bad Thing– after all, Neversoft could just keep pumping out Guitar Hero iterations the same way Capcom did Street Fighter II and the fans would be happy and we’d still be getting enjoyable games. And hey, it’s not like Neversoft is a bad publisher, the Tony Hawk stuff is (generally) well-received. Problem is, after hearing Dusty Welch use more buzz-speak than a meeting of Applebee’s middle management, you can’t help but imagine “stay the course” is the best possible outcome for Guitar Hero at this point. At this point you start to wonder if we’ll ever see 80’s Guitar Hero or Johnny Cash Guitar Hero, you start to seriously expect to see Creed Guitar Hero and Kidz Bop Guitar Hero and Kevin Federline Guitar Hero. At least Harmonix didn’t sell to EA, the thoughts of a Guitar Hero using EA Trax would be an act of sin so strong as to turn the rivers red with blood. In fact, it’d be an act so evil you sort of wonder why EA hasn’t already tried to build a GH clone.

I can’t blame Harmonix, though. You have to figure after two wildly successful iterations of of Guitar Hero (and a fully Live-connected Guitar Hero II for the 360 coming up) that they’ve done pretty much everything they ever wanted to with the game– sure, they can go around the next ten years making Guitar Hero sequels, but if you’re going to do that, why not sell the rights to someone else? These are developers, they’re artists, they have an innate need to create, they will want to see if they can do better than Guitar Hero. You sort of have to commend the ability to discard your gravy train in order to pursue the muse. Indeed, one can think of no less an attitude for a development studio dedicated to fusing music and games.

You just sort of hope the next game they try stays in the garage for a little bit longer.

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One Response to “Now, if they sold this to Neverhood, that’d have been neat..”

  1. Kevin said

    Your layout and colors are good, *thumbs up*-polekatt

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