PORTLAND, OREGON — Melvin Bartlett runs his index finger over the controller of the game he designed in 2003. Nearly two years before Guitar Hero debuted and subsequently became one of the most popular video game franchises in history, Bartlett’s game fizzled out before its official release.
“It’s hard to understand, but the focus groups never warmed to Bass Hero,” Bartlett said. He blames the game’s failure on the rampant disrespect shown bass players in the world of rock and roll. “You never see people playing air bass, and the bass player never gets as much pussy as the guitar player. That’s a given.” Bartlett had hoped to change all that with his game.
“I wanted to show people that bass players could be heroes too. You know?” But Bartlett won’t be filing any lawsuits. He’s hard at work on his next project: America’s Favorite Back Up Singer.