Breaking: Guitar Hero Development Goes to Neversoft

The rhythm-action specialists who brought us Frequency, Amplitude, Karaoke Revolution and, of course, the Guitar Hero games won't be developing the next Guitar Hero, GameDaily BIZ has learned. Instead of Harmonix, it would appear that Tony Hawk developer Neversoft now has that honor...

by James Brightman on Tuesday, January 16, 2007

While rumors (stemming from EGM) circulated last week regarding a possible '80s edition of Guitar Hero, an anonymous industry source tipped off GameDaily BIZ that development on the next Guitar Hero may be switching hands from Harmonix to Neversoft, known primarily for its Tony Hawk games. [Note: We've been alerted that EGM predicted this in its February Rumor Mill section as well.]

When contacted for comment last week, Neversoft president Joel Jewett did not return our calls, while publisher RedOctane/Activision issued us the standard response that they "do not comment on rumor." Now, however, there's no denying it. The Neversoft website is literally split down the middle between Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk's Project 8, as Neversoft is apparently hiring for both franchises currently. (If for some reason the site is not working or has been changed, check out the screen grab below as evidence.)

Clicking on "Positions Available" for either game takes you to the same hiring/job listings page, and none of the positions explicitly mentions anything about Guitar Hero. And while details are scant at the moment, our source did indicate to us that the positions being filled are for Guitar Hero III.

Neversoft is undoubtedly filled with much talent, but we're not quite sure why RedOctane would give the development duties to them after Harmonix created two hugely successful games. Guitar Hero II really cranked it up to 11 with sales of more than 805 K units in December alone in the U.S. In fact, according to recent NPD data, the game was the fifth best selling game for all of 2006 with 1.3 million units sold in the U.S.

We hope to bring you more on this developing story very soon. Stay tuned!

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