"Guitar Hero" looks to book Metallica next

Lead vocalist James Hetfield of the heavy metal band Metallica performs at the Wiltern theatre in Los Angeles May 14, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

NEW YORK (Billboard) - With “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith” weeks away from release, the announcement of the much-rumored Metallica version of the game appears imminent.

An analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities found reference to the upcoming, but still-unannounced game in a recent SEC filing by Activision, publisher of the Guitar Hero franchise.

There’s been no official announcement from Activision, but Metallica’s Web site offered some tantalizing tidbits.

“Let’s just say that perhaps, just maybe, if you’ve already mastered “One” on (Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock), there might be a pile of ‘Tallica songs in your future. More details later this summer...”

Industry speculation suggests that it will come out after “Guitar Hero: On Tour,” otherwise known as “Guitar Hero 4” -- which like rival “Rock Band” will feature a full complement of instruments beyond the guitar. The title is expected this holiday season.

“Guitar Hero: Aerosmith” is slated for release June 29. Unlike other “Guitar Hero” games, which feature scores of tracks from multiple artists, the Aerosmith expansion will include primarily that band’s catalog, along with a smattering of songs from bands that Aerosmith wanted included.

The game “storyline” features Aerosmith’s rise from small venues in its Boston hometown to stadiums, with motion-capture animated versions of all band members.