After a 5-year absence, 'Guitar Hero' and 'Rock Band' video game franchises to return

Features Associated Press

The publisher of "Guitar Hero" is readying a comeback tour.

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Activision Blizzard Inc. announced plans Tuesday to resurrect the once-popular video game franchise. The new entry scheduled for release this fall is titled "Guitar Hero Live" and introduces a redesigned guitar, live-action actors and an online music video network.

"Guitar Hero Live" will cast players as an up-and-coming guitarist in a fictitious band. Instead of playing along with computer-generated characters, wannabe rockers will see a first-person view of their band mates and audiences portrayed by human actors.

During its prime in 2009, the "Guitar Hero" series topped $2 billion in sales. Activision abandoned the franchise in 2011 after sales dipped.

The "Guitar Hero" revival follows last month's tease that "Rock Band" developer Harmonix is bringing back its own performance series.