Guitar Hero becomes a billion-dollar franchise

Posted by Mark Raby

Santa Monica (CA) - Activision has announced that its Guitar Hero series of games has reached total sales of over $1 billion, claiming it has reached that milestone more quickly than any other game franchise.

Guitar Hero burst onto the scene with the inaugural Playstation 2 game in 2005.  Since then three other Guitar Hero titles have been released and the series has spread to the PC, Wii, DS, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and even cell phones.

Guitar Hero 3, despite only being available for the last two months in 2007, was the top seller in terms of units and dollar sales in the US for the entire year.  Over 14 million Guitar Hero games have been sold in North America since the franchise's inception, according to NPD.

Activision claims that it is the first to create a billion-dollar video game franchise in just 26 months, and it also says Guitar Hero 3 set a record by having the highest sales in a single calendar year.

Additionally, Guitar Hero 3 was the first in the series to allow users to download additional songs via the PS3's Playstation Store and the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Marketplace.  Over five million songs have been purchased since the additional tracks went live 10 weeks ago.

Guitar Hero 4 has already been confirmed for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC, though it has not been given a release date.