Around 26 months ago, Guitar Hero was an instant cult classic. Today, it's officially a $US 1 billion franchise. Apparently this milestone comes in video game record time (not partially fueled by the ease with which developers can churn out new versions of the game). In addition, since the launch of Guitar Hero III, users have downloaded five million songs (we're guessing they mean just for GHIII, but the press release is a bit unclear). If so, that total is double the figure that Rock Band has released (granted, GHIII has been out longer).
Activision pats themselves on the back after the jump. Rock Band awaits penalties for extended celebration.
Guitar Hero(R) Franchise Surpasses $US 1 Billion in North America in Record 26 Months, According to the NPD Group Calendar Year North American Retail Sales for Guitar Hero(R) III: Legends of Rock(TM) Set New Industry Record
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATVI) today announced that the Guitar Hero(R) franchise has set an industry record, surpassing $US 1 billion in North American retail sales in just 26 months, according to The NPD Group.
Additionally, Guitar Hero(R) III: Legends of Rock(TM) was the #1 title in units and dollars for calendar year 2007, making it the #1 best-selling video game of all time in a single calendar year.
Since its initial release in fall 2005, the Guitar Hero franchise has sold in excess of 14 million units in North America alone, according to The NPD Group. In 10 weeks since the game's launch, consumers have already downloaded more than five million songs.
"Guitar Hero is one of the biggest brands and one of the most powerful distribution platforms in all of entertainment today," said Michael Griffith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Activision Publishing, Inc. "Guitar Hero's popularity with broad audiences is a confirmation that video games have become a true mass medium."
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and South Korea. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.