When Harmonix’s Guitar Hero was a huge success, the company probably breathed a huge sigh of relief. By their own admission, their previous output of Frequency and its sequel Amplitude had “sold peanuts”.
It wasn’t that the games weren't good, they just hadn’t managed to connect on a major level with audiences. The rhythm game genre was still in a blossoming state and the titles that had found success were those that were easy to understand. Dancing mats just made sense and even Samba Di’Amigo’s maracas, as unexpected as the peripheral was, were something fun to watch and made you curious to try them out.
Amplitude didn’t have any fancy unique controllers and its “boombox spaceship” concept was not something that connected at first glance. Without getting your hands on the game yourself you couldn’t understand what was fun about moving your cursor from lane to lane to match the rhythm and pitch of a song. The game developed a cult following and even got the “best game nobody played award” at the 2003 GameSpot awards which is the biggest backhanded compliment of all time.
After Harmonix had gone through the dizzying heights of success with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, they paid homage to the diehard fans of Amplitude that had stood by them the entire time by returning in 2016 with a remake.