Activision injects indie cred into latest installment of ‘Guitar Hero’ franchise

Back Page Editors

In the wake of the popularity of 2008’s smash hit Guitar Hero: World Tour (3.4 million copies sold in the North American market), Activision has announced the release of its newest sequel to the popular franchise: Guitar Hero: Indie Cred.   GH:IC, due out for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in spring 2009, will follow four players as they struggle to form their own unique sound by opening for shows of other, little-known bands in the Vancouver, B.C. area. The soundtrack will be entirely composed of songs from bands that you’ve probably never heard of because none of them have actually released any albums yet. Expect gameplay to be similar to that of World Tour with the four band members performing their respective parts on lead vocals, synthesizer, didgeridoo, and Theremin. While the standard system of streaming, color-coded markers will be used to guide the players as they play along with the music, Indie Cred is unique in that it encourages improvisation as well.   As such, no points will be missed for playing the “wrong” notes or for creating unexpected dissonance in the sound.

According to Dwayne Meyers, lead programmer for GH:IC at Activision, “the real trick to the game is to balance your growing popularity with your musical roots. You know, be cool without selling out.” As the game progresses, the band will have to impress college radio station DJs, Pitchfork reviewers, and audience members with Youtube accounts, all the while without creating a sound that’s too catchy or accessible.   After all, you wouldn’t want to get played on the radio too much.