Besides seeing another double-digit contraction of the US game industry, October also saw the launch of two high-profile music-related games: DJ Hero (October 27) and Brutal Legend (October 13).
The two well-reviewed titles aren't direct competitors: The former is the first-turntable-based rhythm game from the publisher of Guitar Hero, the latter a heavy metal-fantasy action/real-time strategy hybrid. However, their respective publishers did enter into a legal feud, with Activision suing Electronic Arts in June to prevent the release of Brutal Legend, which was originally to be distributed by Vivendi Games. (Vivendi was subsumed as part of the July 2008 Activision Blizzard merger.)
With the legal spat settled out of court in August, it was unclear which party prevailed. However, it now looks like EA and developer Double Fine will be having the last laugh. According to NPD Group sales figures obtained by GameSpot, Brutal Legend outsold the massively hyped DJ Hero by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in the US during October.
Released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Brutal Legend sold over 215,000 units, compared with DJ Hero's 122,300 units on the 360, PS3, Wii, and PlayStation 2. The DJ Hero total--which was below even pessimistic analysts' estimates--includes the $200 renegade edition, which comes with a combination turntable peripheral case and stand. The regular edition of the game--released two weeks after Brutal Legend--costs $120, with the PlayStation 2 version bearing a $100 price.
OCTOBER US SALES:
Brutal Legend (360) - 150,000 units
Brutal Legend (PS3) - 66,000 units
DJ Hero (360) - 62,000 units
DJ Hero (PS3) - 39,000 units
DJ Hero (Wii) - 19,000 units
DJ Hero (PS2) - 3,300 units