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Harmonix Talks Guitar Hero, New Music Franchise

Speaking exclusively to Gamasutra, Guitar Hero producer Daniel Sussman confirms that Harmonix has moved on from the Guitar Hero franchise, and has started work on a "bigger and more ambitious" music title.
Following last week's news that Tony Hawk franchise developer Neversoft had posted job openings for the Guitar Hero franchise on its own website, Harmonix producer Daniel Sussman has confirmed that the now MTV-owned Cambridge, MA studio has moved on, and is in the midst of creating a new music game. Sussman, one of the key figures behind the creation of the Guitar Hero franchise for now Activision-owned publisher RedOctane, has told Gamasutra, "Here's the official line: Harmonix can confirm that we are not developing Guitar Hero 3" - these duties presumably being carried out by Neversoft. He added specifically: "We are instead working on a different music game project, one that is a bigger and more ambitious endeavor than we felt we could pursue within the bounds of the Guitar Hero franchise." Further specific details on exact subject and publisher for the game are not being released at this time. As previously reported, the fate of the enormously successful Guitar Hero franchise had been under question, with various business deals being made around it. Just prior to E3 of 2006, publisher Activision made a surprise announcement in acquiring RedOctane, saying at the time that "...this acquisition will provide Activision with an early leadership position in music-based gaming, which the company expects will be one of the fastest growing genres in the coming years." Then, in September of last year, Harmonix, with a history for critically acclaimed music and rhythm game innovation, including previous titles Frequency and Amplitude, itself announced it was being purchased by media company MTV, a former marketing partner on the Guitar Hero franchise. This move appears to have split the franchise creator away from the publisher/IP owner, hence the change of developer going forward.

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