In August, Activision CEO Robert Kotick criticized a Warner Music executive for not appreciating how valuable an appearance in Guitar Hero was not just for the game, but also for the musician. The industry-tracking NPD Group provided a little perspective this week on just how much Guitar Hero and its fellow rhythm games are doing for the music industry.
Although the NPD Group found that US consumer demand for music was down 2 percent in the third quarter of 2008, it noted that fall was softened by franchises such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero. According to the NPD, 22 percent of music buyers for the quarter reported playing a rhythm game in the previous three months, with many of them finding out about new artists and purchasing music as a result.
"Even though gaming competes with music for the consumer's entertainment wallet share, music-related games are evolving into an important source for music discovery that can have positive revenue implications for the recording industry," NPD entertainment industry analyst Russ Crupnick said.
NPD gaming analyst Anita Frazier also chimed in, noting that the rhythm genre was the best-selling genre in the industry. Frazier said that, through November, rhythm games made up 16 percent of US software sales for the year.