Guitar HeroIn the sometimes ever-shrinking window of video game franchise success, Activision has pulled the plug, so to speak, on its hit video game series, Guitar Hero. Known for its colorful plastic guitar-controllers, South Park spoof episode and epic rock ballads, the Guitar Hero division, and its sequels, is no more.

Some may be delighted that no longer will they find their kid’s monstrous plastic guitar leaning against their fine hardwood TV lift cabinet, but those who helped usher in this era of classic rock simulation may have to start looking elsewhere for their Thrash-like fix. Video arcades will likely keep their coin-operated version of Guitar Hero a while longer, if nothing more for nostalgia. But for a game that was only created in 2005, and which spawned various sequels such as Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Heroes: Warriors of Rock and Rock Band, which meant buying a whole band set of drums and a microphone, the current sales could no longer support production. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Activision, which bought the Guitar Hero franchise in 2006 for $100 million, posted a $233 million net loss. The company then decided to let go the 500-person Guitar Hero division.

Some critics say the market was oversaturated, and consumers no longer wanted to buy a new controller (a limited one at that) good for only one game or one series of games.

On the flip side, the Guitar Hero games are not out of print yet, so if you are inspired to relive your garage-band glory days and don the fake-Gibson, there’s still time to pick up one or more games and controllers brand-new and unused.