Guitar Hero was the biggest video game of its time, a billion dollar operation, a cultural icon. That was then, and now the game has gotten the ax.
In a bombshell announcement on Wednesday, Activision said it will no longer make the iconic game:
Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011.
These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world's best interactive entertainment experiences.
In addition to many gamers being upset, the move means Activision will lay off about 500 employees -- 7% of its staff.
Guitar Hero was an instant success when it was released in 2005 for the Playstation 2. In 2007 Guitar Hero III became the first video game to earn $1 billion in sales.
But it's been all downhill from there for the music game genre. The most recent Guitar Hero game, Warriors of Rock, did poorly. In December, Viacom sold off Rock Band developer Harmonix. And last week longtime Rock Band publisher MTV Games was officially shut down.