Patent application hints at new Guitar Hero

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A patent application recently filed by Activision has fuelled hopes that the publisher is planning to resurrect the Guitar Hero franchise.

As detailed by RespawnFirst, the patent application, filed on June 27, pertains to a guitar-controller. It doesn’t specifically namecheck Guitar Hero, but shows a picture of what looks unmistakably like a Guitar Hero controller.

The patent application’s text includes: “A music-based video game provides a user-directed sound generation feature. In some embodiments, the user is provided a video game controller simulating a musical instrument, which the user may operate similarly to its real musical instrument counterpart.” And it goes on to detail a “Free play feature,” in which: “A processor of a video game console receives input signals from the video game controller and outputs audio samples based on the received input signals. During the free play feature, multiple suggestions as to how to operate the video game controller are simultaneously provided to give users some guidance as to what to play using the video game controller.

Meanwhile, as Eurogamer reports, a recent update to Warframe effectively allows players to engage in Guitar Hero-style gameplay, via virtual musical instruments called Shawzin which have been added to the popular free-to-play shooter.

Warframe players have been recording videos like the above, and thanks to the update, can also record songs and share their patterns, similarly to Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero itself has been dormant since 2015, when the last iteration of the franchise, Guitar Hero Live, was released – and the studio which developed that game, FreeStyleGames, was subsequently sold to Ubisoft by Activision.

The first Guitar Hero game, developed by RedOctane and Harmonix (which went on to make the rival Rock Band games) was released in 2005, spawning various iterations over the next decade. But since 2015’s Guitar Hero Live failed to generate impressive sales, Activision has kept silent about whether the franchise has any future. For more Activision-related news, visit the publisher’s website.