Activision Exec Addresses Harmonix Sale
Activision CEO of Publishing Eric Hirshberg continues his quote trickle at Industry Gamers, this time talking about Harmonix and the recent decline of the music game genre. While Hirshberg can’t talk about any acquisition buzz, he can relate that everyone at Activision is very appreciative of Harmonix.
“I can tell you I’ve got a ton of respect for Harmonix, and I agree with everything you’ve said about them. They’re a hell of a developer, and very innovative, and I’ve got nothing but love for them. As a fan, I can certainly say they are a great developer and they’ve done a great job in this space,” Hirshberg said.
Hirshberg then dished on his perspective on the music game scene:
It’s no secret that not just Guitar Hero, but also Rock Band, and the music category in general, do not have the same mass appeal today that they did a few years ago. That said, I think that we would be foolish to not try and build on the strength of the Guitar Hero brand, because as you said, it’s a pretty strong brand with great recognition and great likeability, and there’s a lot to work with there. I think the road to rejuvenating that category goes through innovation. The premise of Guitar Hero… that everyone has an inner rock star, it’s something that we’ve all done forever: some version of singing into a hairbrush, or holding a tennis racket like a guitar, or singing karaoke, or singing into the bathroom mirror. We all do that,” Hirshberg said.
I think a lot of video game genres that have had tremendous staying power have a fantasy-fulfillment element at their core, whether it’s driving the fast car, or participating in professional sports, or going into battle. People don’t get to do this in everyday lives. So I think the core premise and the core insight at the heart of the Guitar Hero franchise is still very relevant. I just think we need to escalate the experience for people and innovate. I think the genre is still fairly new, and so I think it’s probably time for us to really look at what the next level looks like for that genre.
[via Industry Gamers]