Despite a catchy 1890s soundtrack and realistic-feeling game play, Sousaphone Hero, the third installment of Activision’s massively popular Guitar Hero video game franchise, sold a mere 52 copies in the United States in its opening week, the company reported Monday.

"In the wake of Guitar Hero’s success, we thought the public was more than ready for additional popular American musical genres in a simulated-performance format, but people don’t seem to be responding to marches as well as we had hoped," said Activision spokeswoman Melissa Hendleman, whose company spent an estimated $25 million developing the game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles.

Due to the poor response to Sousaphone Hero, Activision has halted development of spin-off games Cymbal Hero, Glockenspiel Hero, and Steam Calliope Hero.

Sousaphone Hero offers two dozen public-domain marches, including 1893’s "The Liberty Bell," 1896’s "Stars and Stripes Forever," and 1897’s "Entry of the Gladiators." The bulky sousaphone-shaped controller coils around the body, and players wear white spat-like foot coverings fitted with sensors that monitor synchronized marching steps. As with the fret buttons on Guitar Hero’s guitar peripheral, the sousaphone controller’s three valves are color-coded to match on-screen notes the player must hit.

Players may also choose from 27 different fat-guy characters who can be customized with Alpine hats, epaulets, and a mustache editor with a wide array of options.

(The Onion)



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