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There was gonna be a 'Guitar Hero' MMO

Engadget Engadget 18/04/2016 Daniel Cooper
© Provided by Engadget

In the five years following the first Guitar Hero, Activision sought to flood the market with variations on the theme. But if the company hadn't swung the axe in 2011, we were even going to get a massively multiplayer online version of the title. Unseen 64 has unearthed footage from the early stages of Hero World, a planned replacement for DJ Hero 3 that was designed to unify the entire World series in one place. It should come as no surprise that, as the bottom fell out of the plastic-musical-instrument genre, the idea was axed, even if it did have some pretty exciting ideas.

The biggest one was that the MMO would tie in to both a Facebook mini-game (this was all taking place in 2010, remember), and each full-body Hero title on every console. The concept behind Hero World was that all of the various console games would connect into this shared universe. On the desktop, your avatar would run a small music venue that needed to attract as many non-player characters each night as possible. You'd do this by "hiring" Guitar Hero players on the console to come and "perform" at your location. Blah blah, virtual economy, blah blah, social interaction, blah blah.

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You'd also have to defeat AI characters who wanted to muscle in on your turf, although the baseball bats and shovels weren't part of the game. Instead, you'd participate in PG-friendly conflict through the medium of a dance-off. Freestyle Games (makers of DJ Hero) were unable to spare the resources to actually make this game, so production was outsourced to Virtual Fairground. Activision's decision to axe the Hero name (at least for the time being) had the knock-on effect of bringing Fairground to its knees. That, combined with Guitar Hero Live'slack of success means there's very little chance of this game ever returning from the dead.

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