Kotaku has learned from two separate sources that Activision has a new Guitar Hero game in development, reportedly for this year.
The new title, which one source says will be announced at E3 this year, takes a "more realistic" approach than previous Guitar Hero games, all of which have had a cartoonish visual style. Crowds and performers will look more in-line with real life. We were told that there are new guitar peripherals in development for the title, and both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were mentioned. It is reportedly due for an E3 announcement and a full release before the end of the year.
The last Guitar Hero game - Warriors of Rock - was released in in September 2010, by which time the global recession had already totally deflated the music-game boom of the mid to late '00s. Activision officially killed the series in late 2011, having bought it (along with its original publisher, RedOctane) in 2007, though Kotaku reported that an ambitious and troubled seventh game was in development at New York studio Vicarious Visions.
Both Neversoft and RedOctane, the two studios that had worked on Guitar Hero after it was acquired by Activision, have since been closed. Although neither source told us exactly which developer is looking after the new Guitar Hero, it was indicated that it's one of Activision's West Coast studios, which would rule out Vicarious Visions.
This comes shortly after various signs that another beloved music game franchise, Harmonix's Rock Band, may be due a revival.
Contacted for comment, an Activision spokesperson said that it did not comment on rumour or speculation, but had a little more to add: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation, but have previously said, that as one of the most beloved entertainment franchises, we would only bring Guitar Hero back if we developed the right innovations to usher the franchise into the new generation of gaming."