An anonymous source has revealed that the development of music titles Guitar Hero 7 was "a disaster" before it was cancelled in 2011, crippled by a complex controller design and an empty wallet when it came to the all important music.
"When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain," the mystery source told Kotaku.
"The game had all of the worst hits from the 1990's. They realised that, with our lack of budget and time, they couldn't get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like 'Closing time' and 'Sex and Candy.' There were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the Guitar Hero franchises before."
The source suggested that the "big ambitions" of the Vicarious Visions development team didn't quite fit with the realities of time and budget, so plans for a new art style and tailored music videos started to crumble. The controller posed similar problems.
"This amazing thing was a six stringed guitar. Not a real guitar, or even full six-stringed. It had the classic Guitar Hero buttons on the neck with one extra new button, and six strings where the strum bar used to be. YAY! Now they have an extra button and five more strum bars!"
"The strings [on the prototypes] were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make. No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one."
In the end, said the source, Activision president Eric Hirshberg called time on the project around halfway through.
Activision acquired Vicarious Visions in early 2005. The company had worked on franchises like Tony Hawk, Spider-Man, Crash Bandicoot, SpongeBob Square Pants and Star Wars.