A portion of a GamesBeat interview with Activision's Eric Hirshberg...
GamesBeat: Why was this the right time to bring back Guitar Hero?
Hirshberg: We had the right idea and the right execution. We set a very high bar for ourselves internally. It’s obviously a strong brand and a strong franchise. It’s something people had a lot of love for. But it was clearly also out of gas. It was in need of meaningful reinvention. We made a deal with ourselves that we wouldn’t bring it back just to bring it back. We wouldn’t bring it back unless we felt like we had reinvented it for the next generation of gamers and hardware, and we have.
It’s a very different game built on a very familiar set of core principles and fantasies. Every bit of it has been reconsidered. The live audience that responds to you in real time, that’s visceral and immersive. The six-button guitar, with the two rows of three, introduces both more advanced gameplay, more combinations and more challenging gameplay for the advanced player, as well as more approachable gameplay for the beginner with the three-button mode. And we have GHTV. One of the things that we always wanted to introduce was the ability to keep the music fresh. We’ve done that in such an elegant way, where we just have this stream of music videos you can play. That allows us to keep the music fresh and allows you to compete with your friends online. It makes it an even better party game than it was before.
GamesBeat: Toys to life is becoming pretty vicious, pretty competitive. What do you think about the changes in that market?
Hirshberg: It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’re very flattered. A lot of companies have decided that this mechanic is something they want to be a part of. At the same time, of course, we had a very unusual period where we had no competition because we invented the category. It was only a matter of time until that ended because it was successful. Of course it’s a good strategy for other companies.
Honestly, it doesn’t do us any good to focus on or talk about our competition. We can only control our own actions. What we are focused on is innovating every time. We committed to that and we’ve delivered that. We’ve never made the same game we did the last year with new characters. We’ve always brought in new innovation, a new reason to come back, and a new way to blur the lines between the physical world and the digital world. Swappable toys, reaching into the game world, playing as the villain, adding land, air, and sea vehicles this year—Each time we’ve brought something new and fresh.
I’ve said many times that we make kids say “Wow” for a living with Skylanders. That’s what’s kept us on top. Right now it’s a $4 billion category and we represent $3 billion of it. We’re going to stay committed to that strategy of innovation.
18th October 2012 – London, UK/ BradyGames, masters of the official strategy guide, today announced that October 19th will see the launch of its Official Strategy Guide to Skylanders Giants, the latest exciting instalment in Activision’s hugely popular Skylanders series.
Spread across 224 lavishly designed pages, the Skylanders Giants Strategy Guide lets the player take on the role of Portal Master, controlling the different Skylanders through the Portal of Power. Players embark on an all-new journey into an amazing
world where they will explore mythical lands, battle menacing creatures, collect
gold and treasures, and solve puzzles while on a quest to save their Skyland.
Developed with input from Skylands Giants developer Activsion itself, the Official Skylanders Giants Strategy Guide guides players through making their Skylander the best they can be. Whether it's learning new abilities or picking the best bonus items, Giant, or LightCore Skylanders, it's all included. The guide covers all eight new Giant Skylanders, eight new Skylanders, and 24 reposed Skylanders from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.
The Official Skylanders Giants Strategy Guide will launch as an exhaustive Signature Series edition, with an RRP of £14.99.
Within the guide, gamers can expect to find:
IN-DEPTH SKYLANDER GUIDES, providing detailed analysis on their attacks, special upgrades and Wow-Pow upgrades for every character, including the 16 new Giant and Light Core Skylanders.
EXHAUSTIVE NEW CONTENT GUIDES explore every new feature, letting the player uncover every hideen area, solve every puzzle and collect every bonus item scattered though all-new adventure in Skylands.
PLAYER Vs PLAYER tips and tricks enables players to reign supreme against their friends.