Rock Band franchise joins $1 billion club

MTV Games and Harmonix's four-piece rhythm game achieves sales milestone 15 months after launch; 40 million downloadable songs sold.

In January 2008, Activision announced that the Guitar Hero franchise, purchased along with RedOctane in May 2006 for nearly $100 million, had achieved $1 billion in sales in North America. The feat came 26 months after the Harmonix Music Systems-created initial installment shipped for the PlayStation 2, and nearly three months after the Neversoft-developed Guitar Hero III made its cross-platform debut.

Now, the original Guitar Hero creator has struck gold twice. MTV Games said today that Harmonix's Rock Band franchise has logged in excess of $1 billion in sales in North America, according to the NPD Group. Purchased by MTV Games for $175 million in September 2006, the original Rock Band was shipped by Harmonix to rave reviews 15 months ago. Rock Band 2 made its Xbox 360 debut in September 2008, with PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation 2 installments following later that year.

In addition to the sales announcement, MTV Games provided a stats breakdown of the Rock Band franchise. More than 40 million playable songs have been sold via online networks, the publisher said, noting that the Rock Band franchise was the most lucrative game across all genres in the US during 2008, according to NPD. As of March 24, 2009, Rock Band and its follow-up feature 614 total songs from 269 different artists. The publisher also said that 11 albums have now been released for the series.

MTV Games and Harmonix said in January that they do not plan on releasing a third full installment in the Rock Band franchise this year. Instead, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based developer is at work on the "all-new" The Beatles: Rock Band, which is expected to arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii on September 9. Rock Band: Unplugged, developed by Backbone Entertainment, is expected to arrive for the PSP later this year, along with the DLC compilation Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock for consoles on May 19.

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Discussion

46 comments
Carpe_Noctum
Carpe_Noctum

40 million songs DLC'd, crazy. It's like printing money for them. I paid for 1 song and that is my cap on wasting money.

Eastcoast93
Eastcoast93

great game... congrats harmonix....gives us some free dlc for rockband 1 as a celebration bonus ^^...plspls...your awesomeeeee!!!

bassmaniac20005
bassmaniac20005

Glad to see Harmonix get $1 billion in 15 months. Now gimme some Zeppelin!

truthbetold101
truthbetold101

HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.... there neerly identicly haha.... a tad bit different in timing, and different quality instruments. oh and i guess the drums on rb2 only have 4 pads but w/e lol. HONESTLY NOW..... who plays rb to buy a freakn 5000$ jacket haha, and who plays ghwt to try to make a song and fail miserably!!!!!!! lol thats what i thought +)

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

And by the way, RB2 > GHWT ???? EVERYTHING'S BETTER THAN GHWT!! BIG DEAL.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Who cares? Nothing will beat Guitar Hero 3 (or 2, for that matter). Best songs. Best engine. Coolest charts. No lame band crap. Not too much DLC. Best difficulty level. Simply the tops. Nothing will beat it... except if Activision decides Guitar Hero 5 will be a continuation.... we'll see. (holding my thumbs).

discjockey14
discjockey14

@joelgargan id like 2 see some devil wears prada, uderoath, bring me the horizon, slipknot, skylit drive etc. more music along the scremo side or at least me scremo dlc. they hav lik only 2 scremo songs on the rockband store... but 2 be fair most people dont lik that kind of music

discjockey14
discjockey14

@ monkeyluffy ur kiddin, right? cus u hear scremo all the time on the radio? no wait, thats most the songs on gh and rockband. i mean i lik rockband and gh but i get a little tired of the same over rated songs over and over again. but i do give rockband and gh credit 4 makin really awesome games though

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

I may be a war veteran, but if I ever met the creators of Rock Band, I would go up to them and tell them "Thank you for what you've done for this country."

joelgargan
joelgargan

@discjockey14 Please, tell me what music YOU would like added to the Rockband or Guitar hero playlist (not saying i like the current lists).

monkeyluffy
monkeyluffy

at discjockey14 if their was a definition for over rated and sellout music it would be screamo

discjockey14
discjockey14

i hope they release a rockband scremo or a guitar hero scremo cus im tired of all the ooooooover rated and old songs that r always on the main ones, but of course, over rated and sellout music is wats sells...

BattleSword1
BattleSword1

That's some crazy money for the best music game I've ever played. RB for the epic win.

personmann
personmann

GH did not really get the budget or adverts untill the second one, but still a decent showing all around. one thing I am curious about is how much DLC they sold after GHWT came out, because every NPD sales number compairing the two games only count SKUs, and since we have seen that Activision perfers to make consumers buy seperate GH games instead of DLC, it looks like RB will be ahead in that department for some time

Articfox6
Articfox6

Hope for rock band 3 they add a rhythm guitar as well as a lead so you can have a 5 man band, or whatever combination, Also more songs and increased character creator and graphics, no more cartoony stuff

abeard424
abeard424

I've bought 46 of those 40 million songs

viewtiful_jay
viewtiful_jay

I'm more impressed with the 40m million downloadable songs sold. At $2 a song, not factoring in special pricing for album/pack bundles, thats $80 million right there. Damn near 10% of the 1 billion sold (assuming DLC is part of that 1 billion figure).

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

wow man thats just sick - insane money :P

otanikun
otanikun

Took long enough, but congrats

Yannick_18
Yannick_18

Yeah Rock Band is nice but I want some Raised Fist , Millencolin , Rise Against , Authority Zero , Pennywise .... I've been posting these bands for a long time and still .... nothing

DoeJohn531
DoeJohn531

Good work Harmonix, keep the dlc coming. I want a Audioslave track pack please.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Pretty impressive, thought to be fair it's easier to reach $1billion in sales when the full package costs $180. But yeah, congrats Harmonix/EA!

metal_militia89
metal_militia89

40 million songs sold online?? Hey Guitar Hero, why does your online service sucks so much? Ah yeah, right, you keep on releasing games for $60, like GH: Metallica, instead of making it a DLC for the GHWT. Damn you Activision!

playa42018
playa42018

I probably have a couple hundred dollars worth of RB2 DLC. It's nice to know that they will be compatible with future RB's.

MushroomRevenge
MushroomRevenge

I don't like the Beatles, (not saying that they are bad) and I wouldn't ever go near Beatles: Rock Band. I don't think that was the best band to go with...

SoNin360
SoNin360

Great to hear, Rock Band deserves this success.

gnbfd
gnbfd

damn 40 million! I loves me some good old DLC! Can't wait for the Beatles!

AZisBack
AZisBack

I buy downloadable songs for Rock Band because I know I can play them on their next game. If I couldn't play them on their next game I wouldn't buy them at all

nanikore
nanikore

@frogiggy323 Agree 100%.

SolidSnakeJT
SolidSnakeJT

good job HMX you did in 15 months what has been done in 26 months with GH... btw 40 million dl songs is a HUGE number now waiting for 2010 and rockband 3 feat. Keyboard peripheral ;)

Joeylinkmaster
Joeylinkmaster

congrats to Harmonix. I love the way they run things (DLC every week, not making crap games even three months instead of a really good one year, although there is no RB3 this year)

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Now it is time to learn the real instrument.

lewis2112
lewis2112

Good to hear :). Harmonix hit the right note with the dlc. People buy music games based on the tracks. not how many different plastic guitars you have

Darth_Nater307
Darth_Nater307

"frogiggy323 Posted Mar 27, 2009 6:38 am GMT -12 I'm sure after a year of relaxation, Rock Band will be back and better than ever. Unlike a certain game that can't go 4 months without a new installment." Guitar Hero?

Darth_Nater307
Darth_Nater307

Well of course the "Rock Band" franchise has sold over a billion dollars. Each box cost $150 dollars.

robx360
robx360

I just wonder how much they have made on DLC. It has to be an amazing number.

MonkeyWrench127
MonkeyWrench127

Well done Harmonix, a company with their head screwed on and not trying to milk the hell out of their franchise. Sorry GH fans, but this is how you build a great game and a loyal fan base.

planb
planb

Going back to the original GH game, Harmonix had to fight with record labels to get songs for the game, now they're beating down their door. Congrats to them, they deserve it.

frogiggy323
frogiggy323

I'm sure after a year of relaxation, Rock Band will be back and better than ever. Unlike a certain game that can't go 4 months without a new installment.

Balmane
Balmane

It was too be expected since this game was great!

-Inertia
-Inertia

Good job harmonix, DLC is awesome couldn't ask for more.