Both Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4 sold below expectations in 2015 - the latter so poorly that it prompted layoffs.

Rock Band peripheral developer Mad Catz's CEO, chairman, and senior vice president of business affairs all resigned prior to the company's earnings call, in which it announced the layoffs of 37 per cent of its staff.

Though end-of-year sales were up 114 per cent over the previous year, thanks to new peripherals, "Rock Band sell-through was lower than originally forecast, resulting in higher inventory balances as well as lower margins due to increased promotional activity [aka: sale specials] with retailers," according to new CEO Karen McGinnis.

Meanwhile, Activision said its Rock Band competitor Guitar Hero Live also saw "lower than expected performance."

Harmonix and Activision both say they intend to support their respective games with additional content, though according to Activision Publishing's Eric Hirshberg, there will be no further full Guitar Hero title "this cycle."

Activision had previously cancelled the Guitar Hero series in 2011, due to similarly disappointing sales.