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After Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was released in late 2010, development of all games in the series (including spinoffs DJ Hero and Band Hero) were cancelled, the Hero franchise was discontinued by Activision in February 2011, and Neversoft's Guitar Hero division was liquidated. However, in April 2011, Activision changed their tune, claiming the series was now on "hiatus" and they claimed that a new game would be released in 2012, focusing solely on the guitar gameplay with a new redesigned guitar controller; however, numerous problems plagued the project and was subsequently cancelled. On March 31, 2014, downloadable content for the entire series was removed from the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store, and Wii Shop Channel.

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On April 14, 2015, Activision unveiled a reboot of the franchise, Guitar Hero Live, competing with Rock Band 4 that same year.

Developed by DJ Hero studio FreeStyleGames (today Ubisoft Leamington), the game utilizes a new six-button guitar (not six in a row, however; six in two rows of three), and replaces the classic 3D rendered stages with a first-person perspective of the guitarist using Full Motion Video. The game also features compatibility with microphones and karaoke, which were added in a later update.

GHTV, the online portion of the game, was shuttered on December 1, 2018, taking away hundreds of songs with it and reducing the catalog to only the less than 50 ones on the game disc (the Live mode songs).

For tropes regarding the entire series prior to Guitar Hero Live, please go here.

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     In General 

  • Anti-Frustration Features: This game completely removes failing a song.
  • Bowdlerise: In the same vein as Rock Band, the album arts for some songs are censored due to gore and obscenity, with examples including Black Tide's Post Mortem (containing "That Fire" and "Walking Dead Man", censored for showing somebody hanging themselves with a blood trail making the album title), Tenacious D's Rise of the Fenix (containing the titular track, censored because the Fenix is a stylized penis), and Five Finger Death Punch's Got Your Six (containing "Jekyll and Hyde", censored for appearances of a bloody weapon and a man covered with blood).
    • Subverted with Sum 41's "Still Waiting", due to using the single artwork rather than the Does This Look Infected album cover.
  • Continuity Reboot: Guitar Hero Live is essentially a clean slate for the Hero brand.
  • Curse Cut Short: Subverted and played straight in Live mode, as "shit" and references to drugs and sex are mapped in the lyrics charts, while any utterances of "fuck" are censored. Zigzagged with GHTV, as censorship varies with each music video
  • Easier Than Easy: FreeStyle Games Developer Jamie Jackson stated that a goal of the game with its new layout of buttons on the guitar controller is to be made accessible for beginners of the game, requiring only three keys of the first row, but also designed it to be...
    • Harder Than Hard: A lot more challenging for the veterans of the series, having them use chord progressions between the two rows of buttons and an open strum.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Played with, as if there is a long break in a song without guitar input (at least longer than 10 seconds), the highway fades away until the next set of notes come up.
  • He's Back: After the low sales of Warriors of Rock in 2010, Live intends to bring Guitar Hero back with a bang, and how do Activision and FreeStyle Games catch people's eyes during the global reveal, they have Pete Wentz and Gerard Way play the game with their signature songs on it, "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark", and "Na Na Na", the former being a showing of the "live" career mode, the latter being a Guitar Battle between Gerard and Jamie Jackson. Gerard beats Jamie by a slim margin.
    • Fittingly, two songs in game through Live and GHTV are "Been Away Too Long" by Soundgarden and "Right Back at it Again" by A Day to Remember
  • Multi-Platform: Unlike its competition Rock Band 4, which will be primarily for the Xbox One and PS4, Guitar Hero Live will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, iOS, and Apple TV.
  • Mythology Gag: Guitar Hero in general is seen as the Spiritual Successor/(as seen on the main GH page) the Follow the Leader to the earlier Guitar Freaks franchise, which has 3 buttons for gameplay and sometimes has its songs accompanied with a special music video. Come GH Live, and the new controller has six buttons in two rows of three (plus an open strum) and has accompanying Full Motion Video for performances.
    • During the series' lifetime, people have been complaining about how Guitar Hero needs to go back to its roots from the original. The setlist for Live mode is expected to be only 43 songs, which is 4 less songs than the original Guitar Hero
  • Revisiting the Roots: Played straight at first, as it returns to the core-Guitar gameplay from the first 5 installments of Guitar Hero (1 to Aerosmith). Subverted with the announcement of the microphone returning from later installments, although a guitarist, lead or rhythm, usually has a microphone to act up as backup or lead vocals during a performance.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: James Franco smashed the controller in one of the trailers.
  • Up to Eleven: Instead of the pre-rendered stages and the custom characters, the game has the player take the role of a real life guitarist and take the first person view of the entire audience alongside their band, with them reacting accordingly if the player is good or bad.
    • The game will also feature a new mode called GHTV, which will serve as the multiplayer and quickplay mode of the game. The mode, instead of using the first person visuals of a crowd, will instead use music videos as backgrounds, and will also have background matchmaking, and will also introduce new music to the game via channels specialized in genres and groups. Activision developer Tyler Michaud stated in an interview regarding GHTV that "more than 100 songs will be available at launch on GHTV on day 1 alone," and will also be constantly updating.

     Live mode 

  • Audience Participation Song: More pronounced in this game, when the audience will sing along with the chorus if you are playing good enough, or if Hero Power is activated
  • Comeback Mechanic: The Hero Power that emulates the classic star power from previous games (Double Multiplier) in the series is the only comeback available in Live mode
  • Critical Backlash: In Universe, If you do bad enough on a song, people will try to get on stage to attack you, but not before being taken down by a bouncer
  • Downloadable Content: Hinted at in an interview with Jamie Jackson, where he states that the team can get more venues available based on different countries festivals. (He stated that the first DLC will probably involve a new festival in Canada)
  • Full Motion Video: Instead of the pre-rendered stages and the custom characters, the game has the player take the role of a real life guitarist and take the first person view of the entire audience alongside their band, with them reacting accordingly if the player is good or bad.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In Universe, the Out Outs are afraid of becoming one.
  • The Pete Best: In Universe, Broken Tide had more commercial success after they replaced their lead singer and drummer.

     GHTV mode 

Tropes Regarding Music Videos Included in GHTV

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