With Microsoft now holding the keys to a treasure trove of gaming IPs following their monumental acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, it looks like we’re on the cusp of a gaming renaissance. Further fueling this argument is Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s recent and unexpected surprise hint at the potential revival of the iconic Guitar Hero franchise.
Per Windows Central, current Activision CEO Bobby Kotick recently led a company hands-on that featured James Corden as the host. The meeting was aimed at discussing the company’s future, especially in the context of the next decade in the gaming industry. During this meeting, Kotick took a reflective look back at Activision’s extensive history and went on to talk about how the company will be able to leverage Microsoft’s “research” and machine learning technologies for its slate of IPs and games.
He expressed, “A big part of what I’ve seen in Microsoft is research. They do development in areas that are extraordinary. And so being able to tap into their AI and machine learning capability, the data analytics, new ways of thinking about graphics – I just see unlimited potential for what we do. We’re uniquely situated as a company because we have the very best franchises in all of video games.” Kotick continued to hint at the possibilities by saying, “The re-emergence of Guitar Hero and other things would not be possible without the different types of resources. And so, you know, just the endless possibilities for the future that are just incredibly exciting.”
Activision has a long-standing connection with the Guitar Hero franchise, particularly during its peak in the mid-2000s, when the company was churning out multiple entries annually. However, despite enjoying significant fanfare during its prime, the franchise gradually faded from relevance in recent years, with the last entry coming out in 2015 titled Guitar Hero Live. While Kotick’s recent statement doesn’t necessarily constitute an official confirmation of Guitar Hero‘s return or indicate that it’s currently in the works, it sure does give us fans a glimmer of hope that the iconic franchise could potentially make a comeback at some point down the road.
But, we won’t be too optimistic considering this isn’t the first time we’ve heard Kotick talking about a Guitar Hero revival. Back in June, Kotick told Variety that AI had the potential to resurrect the Guitar Hero series, despite the ongoing backlash from fans and creatives alike. He said, “We haven’t made a Guitar Hero in a long time, and I think with AI and some of the new technologies that we could employ, we could create a really compelling new Guitar Hero. But you know I can’t share with you the things we’re working on but we have a lot of new things in production and development that require better mastery of these new technologies.”
Another topic on the agenda during the recent internal meeting was the ever-evolving technology landscape and the potential game-changing impact of innovations like Elon Musk’s Neuralink and virtual reality (VR). Kotick shared his insights, stating, “I talked a little earlier about the physical experience of interacting with something on screen. I think you’ll see things like Neuralink — you’ll actually be able to interact with things on the screen, where there isn’t a controller.”
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