The once all-powerful Guitar Hero brand was killed in 2011. But a new report claims that development of a new game in the series was well underway by that point.
Kotaku reports that that game was set to abandon the various bells and whistles – specifically the drum kit and microphone – in favour of reverting to its old guitar-only model.
However, it was to use a six-string guitar for the first time with the strings positioned where the strum bar had previously been. Some questioned the wisdom of the decision, and that unease was amplified when early units proved unresponsive and concerns about production costs were aired.
In-game changes included in-song visual direction and venue changes that varied according to the track being played.
The clearly embittered source of the claims labelled the game’s production as a “disaster’, adding that “GH7's woes as emblematic of [developer Vicarious Vision’s] tendency to overreach with its console games” – a statement that seems harsh in the fate of its recent successes.
This ambition, though, led to losses of other functionality, including the omission of character customisation options. There were also worries about the track list handed to the studio, which was full of songs already featured in previous GH games.
The tracks weren’t nailed down until way after development begun, however, leaving VV with little time to craft the inventive track and venue specific music videos that it had such big plans for.
GH7 had initially been granted a two-year development cycle, it is claimed, but work on it was cancelled halfway through after Activision president Eric Hirshberg visited the studio and left unimpressed with what he had seen.