The Life and Death of Guitar Hero 7
Before its untimely death (or perhaps timely, if you had tired of the ‘guitar/music genre’), Guitar Hero 7 was very much in development at Vicarious Visions. In an attempt to shake up the franchise, the development team was looking to streamline the number of instruments involved in gameplay, while making the game’s guitar accessory more complicated than ever.
According to a Kotaku article citing an unnamed source, Guitar Hero 7 eliminated drums and singing, while adding a sixth input on the neck of the guitar and “six strings where the strum bar used to be.” Controller aside, GH7 also featured venues that would dynamically change based on the song being played. Kotaku’s source, citing an impressive demo, said, “the venue was amazing and animated, and each time something in the song changed the venue would also. I didn’t even like the song, but the demo gave me goosebumps.”
Alas the ambition of Guitar Hero 7 quickly worked against Vicarious Visions. In addition to dynamic locations, the developer intended to create custom music videos for each song. The weight of this task, for a game that would feature over 80 tracks, proved problematic – especially considering the song list, in the eyes of this source, wasn’t very strong. “They realized that, with our lack of budget and time, they couldn’t get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like ‘Closing time’ and ‘Sex and Candy.’ There were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the GH franchises before.” Adding to that trouble, the team quickly cut corners on the complexity of different venues.
As we all know, Guitar Hero 7 never saw the light of day. In 2011, halfway through the game’s two-year development plan, an Activision executive checked in on the game’s progress. The game was cancelled shortly thereafter.
Rich is an Executive Editor of IGN.com and the leader of IGN’s Nintendo team. He also watches over all things WWE, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed and much more. Follow him on Twitter, if you dare!