Van Halen Coming to Guitar Hero

Fans of the best-selling Guitar Hero video game series will have even more songs to fuel their fantasies of pop glory. Activision Blizzard has confirmed that Guitar Hero: Van Halen is in the works according to video-game blog Joystiq. No specific tracks have been named, but Activision has said it will include music from guest bands such as Queen, Weezer, blink-182, The Offspring, and Queens of the Stone Age.

The company also plans to release three new music-based video games this year: DJ Hero, Guitar Hero 5, and Band Hero. DJ Hero will use a new controller shaped like a record turntable. The controller will have three colored buttons similar to the five fret buttons featured on Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero 5 is expected to be similar to previous versions of the game but with the added ability to drop in and out of songs and change band members, instruments, and difficulty levels on the fly. Band Hero will be a family-oriented version of the game with a soundtrack of Top 40 songs. 

DJ Hero, Guitar Hero 5, and Band Hero are expected by the end of the year. Guitar Hero: Van Halen is expected for release sometime in the second half of the year.

In addition to the news about new versions of Guitar Hero, The Hollywood Reporter is claiming Activision Blizzard may be looking into the possibility of turning the Guitar Hero games into a reality television series and/or a real-life concert tour. Given Activision Blizzard’s history of making the most of a franchise as well as the fact that the company is looking to turn games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty video games into movies, it’s conceivable the company is also considering shifting the franchise into the world of TV and concerts. Legendary Pictures picked up the film rights to World of Warcraft nearly three years ago, but the company hasn’t done much with the project since then.

Comments made by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick during an interview prior to Thursday's quarterly earnings conference call are fueling the rumors of a possible TV series or concert tour. In the interview, Kotick said, "It might make for a good TV show or a good concert tour" in response to a question concerning the Guitar Hero franchise. If the rumors of a TV show or concert series proves true, we have to wonder how much of this series-milking the Guitar Hero franchise can take.