9 Genre-Defining Video Game Franchises That Died While You Weren't Looking

9. Guitar Hero


We have Harmonix to thank for the rhythm action renaissance of the mid-noughties. Hobbyists, partygoers, music lovers, you name it, the cheap-looking-but-surprisingly-sturdy peripherals of Guitar Hero's earliest iterations became a permanent fixture in homes, bars and SU bars across the land.

Sales and popularity rose with each subsequent sequel; we lapped it up and Activision kept churning them out, even after Harmonix departed to start work on Rock Band. Drums, DJ turntables and microphones became part and parcel of the ever-growing kit until finally... the bubble burst. Sales nosedived.

After Warrior of Rock's launch in 2010, the rhythm scene went silent for half a decade - Activision's attempt to let market saturation subside, no doubt.

FreeStyleGames made an earnest attempt to reboot the franchise in 2015 with Guitar Hero Live. Critical praise followed, but nobody was buying the revival. Literally. Activision once again sent the series into hibernation after that and we've not heart a peep since. Figures.

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Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.