I’ve been playing Guitar Hero Live with a bit of urgency ever since I heard about its poor sales performance in February. One half of the game will always be available to play on the disc. The other half, the portion of the game that I was most drawn to, is Guitar Hero TV. GHTV is an always-on, 24/7 streaming music video mode that puts today’s MTV to shame. As you load up the game you drop into whatever song happens to be playing on either of the two available channels. Songs are themed and divided up into 30 or 60 minute blocks. As you play you compete against other players’ scores and earn experience, Coins and customizable note highways and player cards. It’s proven to be quite a lot of fun and incredibly addictive as the songs — good, bad and weird — just keep streaming in.
All that licensing, streaming and online multiplayer has to cost a ton to maintain, even for Activision. With this week’s news that Activision would be downsizing and restructuring development studio, FreeStyle Games, I can’t help but nudge the game onto the Watch List. Activision confirmed in their statement that FreeStyle would continue to maintain Guitar Hero Live and that new content was forthcoming but they aren’t planning to continue the series in their “current cycle”.
With the game so reliant on streaming HD video it was only a matter of time before Activision pulled the plug. Even if the game was a hit they would eventually have stopped GHTV to support the same mode in a sequel. It was always an inevitability but after this week’s news it seems even closer than I feared. Time to pay for a 24 hour pass and finally hit the level cap!