Guitar Hero project director discusses aiming for the 'core' audience

For better or for worse, Neversoft has decided to go a very different direction with the Guitar Hero franchise from its competitor, Rock Band. In an interview with Develop, project director Brian Bright explained that the the stark difference between the two games is intentional. "Rather than go head-to-head with our own games and our competitors, we decided we wanted to make something different."

Being tasked with developing three games in the Hero franchise simultaneously -- Band Hero, Guitar Hero Metallica and Guitar Hero 5 -- was a drain on the team's creativity, Bright admits. "We did make quite a few games last year ... But the release of all those games split the marketing team's focus, it split our studio's focus." The upcoming Warriors of Rock, however, represents a newfound yearning to go back to the franchise's origins, and deliver a game for "the core audience," the kind of gamer that loves guitar music, and has already mastered the plastic guitar. "The core has got to a pretty high level, so we really want to up the challenge." Developing a game that even franchise stalwarts would find difficult would set the game apart from the upcoming Rock Band 3.

It's somewhat fitting that Neversoft is paying homage to the franchise's origins, considering Warriors of Rock is supposedly the last Neversoft-developed Guitar Hero game. But will it be the end of the franchise? No way. "I think it's a given that there will be a Guitar Hero game every year," Bright said, perhaps relieved that his studio won't be tasked with that burden. Who knows? We may even learn more about the team's new shooter before Guitar Hero 7 finds its way to store shelves.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.