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Guitar Hero goes all Web 2.0 with new CEO
Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but Activision has appointed the former COO of Yahoo to head up the Guitar Hero division.
Dan Rosensweig is a heavyweight new media guy, with a key role in creating ZDNet and merging with CNET, as well as his stint at Yahoo. For the last two years, he has been “an operating principal at Quadrangle Group, a private investment firm, where he focused on the firm’s media and communications private equity business.”
I think that this is significant for a bunch of reasons:
- Rosensweig is an Internet guy through and through. He gets building traffic, monetizing sites, the whole web thing
- He’s decided that there is more money/a better career path/more personal interest in a corporate than as a VC or entrepreneur (although PaidContent.org suggests that Quadrangle’s media activities have not been that exciting recently)
- As a very senior guy, he’s still happy to be joining a company and reporting to Bobby Kotick, when a CEO role of a public company may well have been open to him
Mike Griffiths, CEO of Activision Publishing and Rosensweig’s new boss, is quoted as saying:
To my mind, the strategic implication is clear: the future of Guitar Hero is online.
Obviously, the franchise has been going this way for a while. Bobby Kotick is quoted as saying “The ability to offer these [Guitar Hero] songs on a subscription basis may very well result in the newest subscription opportunity in our portfolio”, while the downloadable content is not exactly new.
But this appointment says to me that Activision intends to make Guitar Hero a major, probably subscription-driven, online business to do for casual-gaming what World of Warcraft did for MMOs.
If Rosensweig can pull it off, he’ll be worth every cent.