Guitar Hero 7 Canned
Ambition got the best of Vicarious Visions and claimed Guitar Hero 7 as a high profile casualty.
Vicarious Visions, who helmed development, planned to nix drums and singing, but add more elements in their place. The guitar, it was revealed, was set to have six strings instead of one stum bar, and an extra button on the neck of the instrument. Unfortunately however, the prototype models were both shoddily made and expensive -- a fatal combination, according to an anonymous source speaking to Kotaku:
"The strings were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make. No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one."
The venues were also in line for an overhaul. The dev team aimed for dynamic venue changes numerous times per song. When a song element changed, the venue changed to fit the piece perfectly. However, this and the creation of brand new characters in a brand new style left the game with jacked up looking characters. According to the source, they were left with:
"characters [whose] necks were over a foot long… They all looked like they were punched in the face."
And of the all-important music:
"The game had all of the worst hits from the 1990's. They realized that, with our lack of budget and time, they couldn't get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like 'Closing time' and 'Sex and Candy.' There were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the GH franchises before. They realized that with a setlist of over 80 songs, a music video unique to each song was out of scope as well. So pretty much every song was in the tomb or the back of the moving truck, with different lighting and camera cuts, and maybe a little graffiti. So they had a game that looked bad, had bad music, had very limited venues, and more was getting cut as time went on."
Vicarious Visions simply couldn't sustain the weight of the ambitions set to revive the waning franchise. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg cut the game from the publisher's lineup after seeing the game's progress, but the publisher insists that the franchise is not gone for good; they're simply giving the game a true face-lift before trying again.