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February 25, 2011

DJ Hero developer’s future in the balance

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by Darren Allan

Activision Blizzard recently announced that Guitar Hero and DJ Hero had reached the end of the line because the music game genre had gotten stale.

And it seems that the future of FreeStyleGames, the UK-based developer of DJ Hero, is yet to be determined. Although at least it hasn’t been shut down – yet – like Activision’s other UK studio Bizarre Creations, which was responsible for Project Gotham Racing and Blur.

Develop reports that FreeStyleGames hasn’t lost any staff members yet, and told the magazine: “We continue positive discussions with Activision around possible routes for FreeStyleGames.”

“We have not reached an agreement as of today, however we are in continued dialogue and hope to have more news soon.”

Exactly what FreeStyleGames will do if the firm is kept on by Activision isn’t clear, given that they specialised in music games, aside from the likes of Buzz! Junior (and that was five years ago on the PS2).

Apparently there are several options on the table, though, so fingers crossed for the outfit.

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  1. It’s a shame they’ve decided to end Guitar Hero/DJ Hero when it still had lots of potential.

    Music games never really get stale, the only problem with GH was that Activision went into overdrive with releases in the middle of a recession.

    They went a bit crazy releasing too many GH spin offs in one go, and not really taking time over it - e.g. you had Guitar Hero: Metallica, Modern Hits, Smash Hits, 5, Van Halen, DJ Hero, DJ Hero 2, Warriors of Rock and Band Hero all released within a few months of each other.

    You don’t see any other games trying to push so much at the end user so quickly and that spoiled the game and got the end customer too confused about what they should purchase. Other games like SingStar gets released about every 12 months, N4S again every 12 months. Not even Rock Band released their games that quickly. Hopefully Rock Band will continue making their games.

    Comment by Darren — February 26, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  2. As you say, there were too many GH games pumped out - without any meaningful innovation.

    Rock Band on the other hand has a steadier release schedule and ensures lots of new stuff with a new game. Witness RB3 with new keyboard and pro instrument charts.

    Hopefully RB will gain strength from being unopposed in the field now, because it would be a definite shame to see the whole music genre fold, imho….

    Comment by Darren Allan — February 26, 2011 @ 11:00 am

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