In a record setting move, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has become the first videogame to have sold more than 1 billion worth of units. Mike Griffith, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Activision Publishing, delivered the information at the Consumer Electronic Show, just one year after Activision told the gaming world that its Guitar Hero franchise had broken through the same monetary barrier.
The franchise was bought by Activision for 100 million in 2006. Harmonix originally worked on it but it quit at one point and launched the rival, MTV Games and Electronic Arts supported Rock Band series, which is giving Guitar Hero a run for its money.
Griffith also said that the games in its series generated more than 21 million song downloads, while the new feature in Guitar Hero World Tour, which allows players to create their own songs, was used to upload more than 140,000 songs that could be accessed by anyone. The Rock Band franchise, by comparison, has generated 9 million more song downloads in its shorter life span.
The success of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has been attributed to the wide variety of platforms on which the game runs, on the very inspired choice of songs that can be played in the game and to the wide array of bundles that can be acquired, featuring the fake plastic instruments gamers have come to love so much.
Of course, MMOs like World of Warcraft, from Blizzard, have probably generated more than 1 billion in revenue through subscriptions, because of the 11.5 million people who play them constantly. But World of Warcraft and its two expansions, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, cannot compete with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock in pure retail sales.
It's a chilling thought to see that with Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft, Activision Blizzard has both the biggest revenue creator in the gaming world and the best sold game at retail.