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Guitar Hero plays its swansong

The once popular game has got the axe after sales slumped

Guitar Hero has played its final tune as Activision Blizzard pull the plug on the loss-making game series.
Guitar Hero has played its final tune as Activision Blizzard pull the plug on the loss-making game series.

Guitar Hero is playing its final notes as Activision Blizzard Inc is ending the once popular franchise, according to AP.

Activision, who also produces Call of Duty, is ending the musical game after five years due to weakening demand for musical games.

The Guitar Hero announcement follows closely on the heels of Viacom Inc's decision in November to sell Harmonix, the unit behind the Rock Band video games that were losing money.

Music games reached their popularity peak in the mid-2000s and sales have fallen since then. Music-based games are generally more expensive than war games as they need add-ons such as guitars, microphones and other musical equipment. Songs are also available for purchase for the games, but even this income has not been enough to keep Guitar Hero profitable.

Activision has said that its restructuring will mean about 500 Activision employees will lose their jobs in its Activision Publishing business, which has about 7,000 employees.

Activision scored points with its Call of Duty: Black Ops, released in November. The game, based in the Vietnam war made $1bn after six weeks in store. Its latest World of Warcraft expansion has also been doing well.