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Guitar Hero only 'on hiatus,' True Crime: Hong Kong cancellation explained

by Alice O'Connor, Apr 12, 2011 2:15pm PDT

In February, monolithic publisher Activision announced that it was closing its music games division and cancelling True Crime: Hong Kong. While the former was not entirely unexpected due to the crowded rhythm game market, the latter was a little surprising. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz recently, Activision's VP of developer relations and acquisitions Dan Winters explained a little more.

"Actually, just to clarify, we're just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus, we're not ending it," Winters explained to the site. "We're releasing products out of the vault--we'll continue to sustain the channel, the brand won't go away. We're just not making a new one for next year, that's all."

For now, Activision is keeping the brand alive with periodic downloadable content releases. Initially, it planned only to only release DLC until the end of February but new tracks are still coming. The latest were released only today.

There's no word on whether the DJ Hero franchise is similarly only taking a break, though.

Winters also explained that while True Crime: Hong Kong was shaping up to be "a very good game," Activision wasn't sure it'd fit in with its ghastly business model.

The challenges in the market place right now, when you're talking about open-world games that are going to compete with titles like Red Dead Redemption, expectations for the consumer are really high.

    That would have been, and still might end up being, a very successful mid-tier opportunity for someone. But, as I said, we changed our business model to where we were going to change our business model to focus disproportionately on three big, huge monsters. Those three monsters are the Bungie, Call of Duty and Spyro titles.

    So that left the True Crime title being a mid-tier opportunity which we felt was an opportunity cost against other things. But we have a lot of confidence in the quality of the studio and the quality of the title, just not in the scale of the opportunity.

While on the subject of milking franchises, Tony Hawk has revealed that he's working with Activision on yet another skateboarding game. "We're going to do something probably for next year but I can't give too much away," he said.

Internet, you may resume your raging.





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