Guitar Hero 5 beating Beatles: Rock Band 4-to-1, claims Activision

Activision exec tells <i>Financial Times</i> its rhythm game is outselling its competitor fourfold in US, 9-to-1 in "other markets."

This week, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman announced better-than-expected sales of The Beatles: Rock Band, developed by his company's MTV Games subsidiary Harmonix. Within 24 hours, the CEO and president of Activision's Guitar Hero label hit back, boasting that the latest installment in the series was trouncing its band-specific competitor.

Activision is bringing the noise about Guitar Hero 5 outselling The Beatles: Rock Band.

Former Yahoo! COO Dan Rosensweig, who took over the Guitar Hero business from RedOctane founder Charles Huang in March, told the Financial Times that The Beatles: Rock Band hasn't dented Guitar Hero 5's retail performance. "It did not affect our sales," he said of the rival game, which launched the week after Activision's own Neversoft-developed title. Guitar Hero 5's fortunes also appear to be unaffected by its controversial use of the likeness of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

But while Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band have both received solid marks from critics, Rosensweig claims the former is outselling the latter 4-to-1 in the US. He went on to tell the British business daily that in "other markets," the ratio was 9-to-1 in favor of Guitar Hero 5, which also allows buyers to get Guitar Hero: Van Halen for free in December.

Rosensweig's comments come after a year that has seen the once-hot music genre cool down. Earlier this month, the NPD Group analyst Anita Frazer said rhythm game sales were down 46 percent year-to-date in 2009. However, the slump hasn't dented the braggadocio of Activision executives. During a presentation this week, CEO Bobby Kotick announced that his company was working on versions of Guitar Hero that would bypass consoles altogether.

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297 comments
konez
konez

Funny how that ass of a company Activision just got whooped by John, Paul, George and Ringo. I love how company's make up sales story's to try to make consumers buy their game. They come out and say GH5 outselling 4-1 to hopefully make those on fence mind up to buy GH5 instead of The Beatles. Now in the real world people buy better games not buy their games on how "well" company's say their game is selling.

rudolph228
rudolph228

Lol...I read this after reading the sales of The Beatles Rock Band and I just laugh. It's like Microsoft saying that they did a survey that resulted in the 360 having the least hardware malfunctions...=p

LScollard
LScollard

@ThisNameIsDumb. the beatles are one of the most popular bands around. @real-guitarhero. I 100% agree, plus the photos and "sound extras" are awesome.

Babywarrior5
Babywarrior5

Bahahah. Keep telling yourselves that, Activision. Harmonix takes care of their costumers (ex. the release of the recent RB2 patch, not 7 "new" sequels) unlike you. Too bad Guitar Hero went the way it did. Guitar Hero 2 is still in my favorite games of all time hall of fame.

tremor33
tremor33

I just traded in guitar queer-o metallica yesterday. tried to get rid of rock band 1 but they offered me so little ($1.50) I decided to keep it. I'm not really planning on buying anymore rhythm games. Soon they will be in the back of my closet next to my tomagachi and furby with all the other fads.

Aero5555
Aero5555

Personally, I'm fed up with these "rock" games, waiting to see how DJ Hero turns out, but if it's fun factor is similar to the "rock" games, I'm gonna abandon these music games altogether, unless... I want a Genesis: Rock Band, who's with me?

Blargsman
Blargsman

It was inevitable really. The huddled masses cling to name recognition and the Guitar Hero name has been in the rhythm game arena longer than Rock Band's has. Not to mention the strict Beatles playlist will obviously turn off some potential customers. No one should have expected otherwise.

real-guitarhero
real-guitarhero

the beatles rockband was made for beatles fans.. if youre not a beatles fan well obviously its gonna suck im a beatles fan and i tell you, the beatles rockband was MUCH MORE WORTH THE BUY

riariases
riariases

Anyways, Activision has lost out in many areas. I think the biggest was thei Tony Hawk's franchise. Skate games by EA are alot more fun and innovative, not to mention... you know... real. In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, you can do unimaginable things that no pro in real life could possibly pull off. Thats where Skate puts an emphasis on limits, which sounds bad but when it comes to sport games and such, it feels alot more fun that way, in my opinion.

riariases
riariases

Guitar Hero and Rockband are old now. Now that everyone can play on expert, (and yes, I mean everyone) its not a challenge thus taking the fun out of the game, which is improving how you play.

Linkman0714
Linkman0714

i havent bought either game because music games are starting to bore me

Sambo115
Sambo115

Damnit, this really sucks. But I suppose it was expected, stupid GH.

h4xx0rz
h4xx0rz

Of course Guitar Hero 5 sold better, you got a free game with it, whereas the instruments in Rock Band: Beatles cost $250 for the set and an extra $100 per guitar.

zaiwen
zaiwen

its just video game sales so who cares... beatles are decades & millions & millions of $$$ ahead even before GH came to mind on its developers.. Activision's just won't let go of the past & just plain jealous not only for the fact that they weren't chosen to carry the beatles but also the fact that their games are getting boring with every GH release to date ... after all there's no Hero in Van Halen.. gimme a break

ThisNameIsDumb
ThisNameIsDumb

beatles rockband is a somewhat limited audience... not to say the beatles aren't a good band or anything like that... It's just had it been a " bullet for my valentine " rockband or some other popular band it would have sold more.

shadoxnova
shadoxnova

Ehh... I still have to say i personally prefer Rock Band 2. However i will be getting Guitar Hero Van Halen when it comes out! But i just prefer the way Rock Band is set up display wise.

TheCadaver
TheCadaver

@rockstar_88 guitar hero 5 was really good in terms of its predecessors the ability to just jump in and change difficulty on the fly is what the game really needed. makes things a lot easier i still like guitar hero 2 but guitar hero 5 doesn't suck

TheCadaver
TheCadaver

@Spartan_418 Please let this be the end of single-artist music games... nuuu! haha i just want coheed and cambria. it'd be such a beautiful game to see since the songs are all part of a 5 part saga. check it up :D plus their songs are fun to play

iucidium
iucidium

All I can say is I am looking forward to RockBand 3 when it surfaces...in the meantime my hard drive will fatten with DLC, I'm off to play 'tribute' by tenacious D, in a bit! p.s-uk didn't only get shafted by being offered world tour, there were VERY LIMITED numbers of those actually working (I think) red guitars...poor europe have none till band hero (mooo goes the activision cashcow)

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Please let this be the end of single-artist music games...

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

finally people are realizing that buying over priced plastic instruments isn't all that's cracked up to be. buying music games year to year when the old tracks don't carry into the new titles, and sometimes the old instruments are not good enough to fully enjoy the new experience, causes people to stick with their old stuff.

link1709
link1709

I purchased the beatles rock band limited edition. The main reason for this is that it's the first time us UK gamers got to buy the rock band 2 drum kit. Up until 2 months ago I was a die hard GH fan. However I noticed things go from bad to worse when I stopped buying the DLC for world tour because nothing decent was being released (matter of opinion I know) and when Activision refused to replace my faulty drum kit. (because I didn't live in the states). I then decided to look at the competitions offerings. I was blown away. First of all each song is 99p (master recording) or 59p (cover) compared to GH £1.59 (either type) and track packs are £2.49 (3 pack) compared to GH £4.59! I have looked at the recent downloads for GH5 and am not looking back. To top all of that off. Our incentive for buying GH5 in the UK is a free copy of 'World Tour' that's right, I'm gonna be enticed to buy GH5 knowing I'm gonna get the game I paid for last for free, What morons. I'll wait until next year and see if things change. However with Koticks 'we don't need consoles to play GH' attitude, I doubt it. Screw you Activision

wiifan001
wiifan001

I am in fact one of those customers that bought gh5 for the purpose of van halen for free. Gh5 has the worst setlist of all gh games released on any console to date.

comfnumb82
comfnumb82

just because their selling more copies doesen't mean it's a better game. As said before, GH5 is only doing well because of the free GH van halen offer. but let's face it, the beatles rock band has somthing GH5 doesn't: an actual good set list

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

@yang_fox You are right. Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, said it himself. He prides himself for extinguishing the fun in Activison game development and boasts that the company's only focus is the bottom line. GH5 is only selling better because of the free GH:VH offer, plain and simple. I'd like to see the hit they take in December when they have to give away all those GH:VH games for free. I wonder what Van Halen thinks of all this?

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

I'll say it 100 times before, I'll say it again; just because you sold more copies doesn't make you better. That's like telling me Britney Spears is a great artist because she sold 50 million copies of her album. Numbers can't hide the fact that Guitar Hero still sucks, Activision.

peetowser
peetowser

@ thetravman : First they are sales for the week ending the 12th. Maybe they aren't 100% accurate, but independent numbers still are a better indication than Activison, wouldn't you think? Feel free to believe a one sided biased corporate line if you want to, I'm not here to pick a fight, simply to point out another source to this allegation that sound more like wishful thinking than based on facts....

Genexi2
Genexi2

It'll be a more worthy claim once Van Halen comes out, then you'll be comparing band-specific to band-specific, rather than band-specific to new-iteration-of-the-main-series.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

Maybe the threats of lawsuits and "re-locking" Kurt Cobain helped sales.

thetravman
thetravman

@peetowser Those online numbers are never usually accurate.

peetowser
peetowser

GH5 has a 72,035 copies sold lead on RB:Beatles with one more week on the shelves... Just look it up for yourself : http://www.vgchartz.com/weekly.php and do the math again if you think I'm making it up (or you could also just read a few comments before you post, since I did the math already) It's not even close to a 2-to-1 ratio, Activision is baaaaaad at math lol

snake289
snake289

Its simple Activision you want more sales stop milking the damn series with 7 games each year.

JERMINITIS
JERMINITIS

Maybe the 4 to 1 ratio is of all the Activision employees. Like a employee survey, lol.

jmartinez1983
jmartinez1983

So its 4 to 1, but then they have to toss in a free game, so that really makes it 2 to 1, then Rock Band does a MUCH better job of providing quality DLC, so while Rock Band may sell less, Harmonix may make as much money because of the DLC and not having to give away a full game just to get people to bite. In summary: Guitar Hero stinks, Rock Band rules.

SecularSage
SecularSage

I've been hearing that the Beatles: Rock Band game has been selling out at a lot of stores, and simply isn't available to buy. I suspect it will be a hot ticket item for Christmas this year -- particularly its limited edition. Guitar Hero 5 will sell, but I think people are moving away from buying the kits because they already have the guitar controllers and don't need more. When you start to see the kits at places like Big Lots (as I have), you know the game's popularity is waning. I don't think anyone expected the Beatles game to outsell Guitar Hero 5, so Activision is once again making a mountain out of a molehill in order to draw attention to itself. This whole idea of platform independence is ridiculous, and Activision is going to find itself alienating its console partners in the long term if it's not careful. Activision has been able to hold on to a few major franchises over the years (Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, Spider-Man), but it's always managed to choke them to death by releasing yearly titles in an attempt to make a cash-grab. EA does the same thing, but they at least focus on the sports games where updating rosters makes it worth players' while.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

this is so obviously garbage. they couldn't possibly tell me its out selling the game 4-1.

peetowser
peetowser

Look I just did the math 5 posts below... I even provided the link, don't trust me, go see for yourself... It isn't even close to a double outsell, much less 4 to 1...

kytomasi
kytomasi

if it is 4-1 over beatles its because, not everyone is a beatles fan, i may like 2-3 songs from that but its not worth 60 dollars for a band i hardly listen to. so of course GH5 would hit the general audience better then a beatles only game.

Stewie_Dude_145
Stewie_Dude_145

GH5 isnt too bad of a game,but they are milking the series too much.you know why Rockband dosent release a game every few months? They keep adding tons and tons of DLC.and also who started the whole guitar,drums,mic with the games first? Rockband..

peetowser
peetowser

Grossly exgerated is an understatement, I don't own any of these games (hate the Beatles, only one song I'd play on GH5) so it's not like I care, but curiosity got the better of me and I had to check out the numbers.

dramadude186
dramadude186

This sounds grossly exaggerated to me. Guitar Hero 5 may be outselling Rock Band: The Beatles, but by 4 to 1? That seems highly unlikely to me.

peetowser
peetowser

4-to-1???? 9-to-1????.... *looks up sales*... http://www.vgchartz.com/weekly.php The Beatles: Rock Band XBox360=241,604 total The Beatles: Rock Band Wii= 250,268 total The Beatles: Rock Band PS3= 131,910 total _________________Adds up to 623,782 total units sold up until 12th September 2009... Guitar Hero 5 XBox= 275,938 Guitar Hero 5 Wii= 218,764 Guitar Hero 5 PS3= 201,115 _________________Adds up to 695,817 total units sold up until 12th September 2009... So GH5 has been on sale for a week longer than RB:Beatles, and all you got is a 72,035 copies sold lead on RB:Beatles accross all platforms... and that translates into a 4-to-1 outsell rate in your mind??? I wonder how long will Activision stay up if this is how good at math they are... And Gamespot, you go ahead and publish this without even veryfying??? This is what passes for journalism these days????

protoroc
protoroc

Party Mode was a nice edition, but overall GH5 had the worst set list put on Guitar Hero yet. So many no name bands that only the trendiest of scene kids would know of. Not a Beatles fan though but I'll just stick with RB2

Xaovagon
Xaovagon

well guitar hero has Children of Bodom on it, so my vote goes towards guitar hero plus i hate how easy the Beatles is...

razgriz_101
razgriz_101

Played both and personally RB:Beatles is a much better game to be totally honest. But GH is a bigger name even though its over saturated.Think RB is the better setup with the DLC. In all honesty tho not everyone is gonna buy a Beatles only game.

kardon16
kardon16

sales are already down 46%, proof that activision is milking (and saturating) the business.

ckat609
ckat609

imagine if Activision had made The Beatles... it would've been something like this: Guitar Hero - The Beatles - White Album Guitar Hero - The Beatles - Abbey Road Guitar Hero - The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper... Anyway, you get the point... which sucks!!!

Sweetbrad316
Sweetbrad316

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