World Tour sells 534K, Rock Band 2 tops 238K

[UPDATE] Guitar Hero triumphs on four platforms in October with $67.3 million as Harmonix' upstart continues to rock hard with $26.8 million; Rock Revolution sells less than 3,000.

Besides Wii Music's no-show, another mystery about yesterday's NPD numbers was the absence of two of the biggest games of the season. Nowhere to be found were Guitar Hero World Tour, the newest entry in Activision's billion-dollar rhythm series, and Rock Band 2, the latest installment in MTV Games' own seven-million-unit franchise. How could these two headline-grabbing, money-minting franchises be missing in action?

The answer is simple. The NPD Group, the US game-industry research firm of record, issues its best-seller lists based on SKUs (Stock-Keeping Units), retail shorthand for a single product. Each iteration of a game on a different platform is its own SKU, and every subconfiguration--bundles, special editions, and so on--is also a different SKU. With no less than 11 Guitar Hero World Tour and four Rock Band 2 configurations, the two games simply spread themselves too thin, SKU-wise, to make the cut.

Now, the release of the raw October NPD data allows for the tabulation of the two games' total sales. Unsurprisingly, Guitar Hero World Tour, available on four consoles, was the winner with just more than 534,000 units sold for the month. The most popular platform was the Xbox 360 (about 191,000 units), followed by the Wii (approx. 183,000), PlayStation 3 (approx. 97,000), and PlayStation 2 (approx. 63,000). Overall, the game generated $67.3 million in sales during the month.

Rock Band 2's second-place finish wasn't too shabby either, with sales split almost evenly amongst its two platforms. NPD reports that US retailers sold about 238,000 units of the game during October, around 119,000 being of the 360 variety and approximately 118,000 bearing the PlayStation 3 mark. Its monthly haul stood at $26.7 million. The PS3 version of the game went on sale October 17, nearly a month after the 360 Rock Band 2. Wii and PlayStation 2 editions are expected next month.

Unfortunately, October was not nearly as kind to the third instrument-based rhythm game released during the month, Rock Revolution. According to NPD figures, Konami's critically savaged game sold less than 3,000 units on the 360, PS3, and DS combined. The Wii version will be released next month.

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211 comments
Pyroninja42
Pyroninja42

Rock Revolution sold less than 3k units? Man, my faith in humanity has reached an all-time low. I didn't think that anyone was gullible/stupid enough to buy that.

jjdomo
jjdomo

What do ya'll think the chances are of them making the next generation of these games completely cross-compatible? Meaning, if I bought RB and GHWT, then I could pay a licensing fee or something and download the songs from one game into the other? Do it the same way you could with RB and RB2 . . . but with GHWT! You'd still have to buy both games, so neither company would lose any money. The instruments are already compatible, so that shouldn't be an issue . . . Thoughts?

thepalatinepoet
thepalatinepoet

Uwiwami, Dmish82 is highlighting what occurs to most gamers as a change in philosophy. When changing hands from Harmonix to Neversoft, the core gameplay remained seemingly intact. But Neversoft has a different approach to games than Harmonix, and this became evident when Neversoft made Guitar Hero 3, unveiling the glorified "battle mode" that did nothing but take away from the music experience and emphasize how the player was playing a game, and not actually performing. Harmonix moved on to make Rock Band, which was the next step in simulating being a music performer. You acquired money to purchase new clothes and equipment, won and lost fans based on your performances, and worked together as a band to make it big. Now look at what Guitar Hero World Tour is. GHWT is, in its core, GHIII with two extra instruments. It sounds like Neversoft learned that being able to throw each other "lefty flips" and "broken strings" didn't quite catch on with the audience that picked up GH in the first place, because I don't see "broken drums" or "lost voice" in some new battle mode. GHWT still picks songs that are Guitar Hero songs, and not Rock Band songs (the songs have an almost undeserved focus on guitar difficulty and not overall appropriateness for drums or vocals). GHWT still adds guitar notes in order to ramp up the difficulty in parts of songs where the original musicians had no such thing. GHWT still kills the band when one member messes up, and still plays like an "unlock the set list" achievement game. No offense, uwiwami, but it's pretty clear that while Harmonix's mission statement is to help people experience music in new ways, Neversoft is proving entirely content with trying to keep fans of GHI and GHII. Harmonix put effort into keeping an ongoing, large, diverse, and appropriate set list via DLC. GH III AND GHWT, it would seem, are trying to pack in as many songs as they think people will buy, thinking less about how fun it is to play and instead how much someone might want to play it. Again, the philosophy has a direct effect on content and presentation, in prominent, undeniable ways. If you ask me, Harmonix took it to another level, and Neversoft is trying its best to do the bare minimum to say competitive. The difference has nothing to do with actual song play, because you're right in that the core mechanics are identical (Harmonix pioneered GH on home consoles, after all), but Rock Band is designed to actually make you feel like you're in a band, just like GH I and GH II made you feel like you were a guitarist (and not playing GuitarioKart, aka "battle mode"), and GHWT is trying its best to sell itself as a "hardcore gamer game." The difference is obvious. Whether it matters to you, I do not presume to know. But I have a better time playing Rock Band with my friends than I do playing GHWT.

uwiwami
uwiwami

@dmish82 Clearly, your picking up at Rockband's small features that mean absoulutey nothing. Other than those tiny features, GHWT and RB(2) are the same game. So you cant say rock band is superior. GHWT has sold way more copies. AND theres is loads more features that ghwt has more than rockband2. BUT, i think Rock Band is winning because of its vast amount of DLC

king23_
king23_

Lol at Rock Revolution.

born2bewild
born2bewild

HONSETLY .. everyone has their own opinion... its just like different genres of music, some like rock and think its better than every other genre aswell as the other genres may see it .. STOP ARGUING PPLZ!!

born2bewild
born2bewild

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

born2bewild
born2bewild

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dmish82
dmish82

Clearly, Rock Band is the superior version when comparing band mode. The reviews for GH:WT show that in band mode you simply play one song, beat it, unlock and play the next, all the way through. Personally, I prefer Rock Band's method of choosing venues to play, hiring staff, earning money to buy instruments/clothes, making music videos, winning tour buses, and all the other choices you get in the game. It just feels more like a band game than Guitar Hero does. Also, I hate the random notes that appear in Guitar Hero that aren't even part of the song. Bah!

DAKYON
DAKYON

personally prefer guitar hero

willthegreat
willthegreat

Poor Rock Revolution...I thought it would be bad but no THAT bad. Then again, that's what happens when you try to penetrate a saturated market with an extremely lackluster product. Rock Revolution franchise...RIP 2008. On another note, you have to take the RB2 vs. GHWT figures with a grain of salt. Firstly, RB2 debuted on 360 last month so it's not suprising that those figures don't match GHWT's this month...RB2 did outsell GHWT on PS3 after all. Secondly, RB2 is still only on two platforms. It will be interesting to see how it performs on Wii and PS2 next month. Finally, both franchises are doing fine. Harmonix is certainly selling an @$$load of DLC content, the figures for which are not mentioned in any of these articles, and that number can only be growing. Harmonix has said they are fine with sharing the space...they are not looking to "kill" the franchise that they birthed.

gamerfreak1991
gamerfreak1991

How did GHWT outsell Rock Band 2? RB2 is clearly the better game.

banthafodder3
banthafodder3

LoL, I really feel sorry for Konami, they really should not have dabbled into this foray. About the whole RB vs. GH thing, this is sad, the only reason GH is getting more sales is because of the name, and what Harmonix made GH into. RB is a much higher quality game and has much more music than GH. I don't care about the music creator, and I don't think many people do either, so don't say to this that GH has infinitely more songs than RB's nearly 500 songs now, because really, almost no one cares.

neo_geo2027
neo_geo2027

I tried Rockband 2 in the store and didn not like it at all, I've always preferred the Guitar Hero games. I like the crate a Rocker feature and the music list can't be beat.

finaleve
finaleve

gotdangit > Personally, Its not so much who is copying who, but the songs themselves. I find that Rock Band focuses on the music more, while Guitar Hero picks up on music that seems popular and good enough for their game. While Rock Band's music on disc isn't everything, I've downloaded a ton of songs. I've downloaded 1 pack on GH and I regret ever getting it. I only got the free songs on it. GHWT does have a lot of songs that made me want to get the game, but I'm waiting a bit because half the songs on their I have on RB2. Also, the abilitiy to have your DLC and most of RB1 and play it all on RB2 is quite a feat and makes the game, to me, a lot better in terms of variety in songs (even if I played most of them for what...a year). I think they should seriously consider looking at sales by units as well. I'm willing to bet the money came from the bundles sold. However, its just me being a bit of a sore loser but hey, I love RB2 more than GH.

missonrs
missonrs

Do you guys notice how on you tube and gamespot when people say GH:WT is btter they get many thumbs down? Yeah just thought i'd point that out.

witide
witide

Well there have been 0 copies sold for Rock Band 2 in Australia, but I'd he happy to make that a 1 if it was sold here.

Guitar1969
Guitar1969

I am just really disappointed that Mtv can't get Rock Band 2(Full bundle) out for the Wii until after X-mas (Dec 31st). They are also just releasing the game standalone Dec 16 so they are going to be pretty much a no-show for a large segment for Chrristmasday.. I am not sure if its a production thing or planned marketing but considering how bad this Christmas is being forcasted in sales, they are going to hurt themsleves - I can't forsee a huge number of sales a week after Christmas. My kid wants RockBand 2 for the Wi(Doesn't have anything at this point) but I might end up getting him GH because I want him to not be bummed Christmas morning

d1nonlyclo
d1nonlyclo

Does any of these sale figures take into account what bundles were picked up and there by how many units of the actual game disk were sold? I could see Guitar Hero: World Tour toping dollar amounts because people were picking up the complete bundle as opposed to users like me who just picked up Rock Band 2 disc? Anyways, I own RB2 and played GH:WT. And much like my feelings with GH3 I just don't like Activisions charts.

Elfrancorifle
Elfrancorifle

Guitar Hero World Tour is the best n u knw it

OmegaOrtega
OmegaOrtega

Meh Rock Band 2 by far is the better game. Only thing G Hero does better than RB2 game wise is the count down timer. Other than that, Guitar Hero WT is a first attempt and it shows. It's only selling like that because of the name Guitar Hero and we all know the original GH I&II from Harmonix were more groundbreaking than GHIII, and now their talents are behind Rock Band and it shows.

Gamer4eva999
Gamer4eva999

guitar hero most likely won out in sales because of all the advertising it got with Gamestop and KFC (the latter is the most pointless and shameless advertising method i've ever seen). i feel sorry for the 3,000 people who got rock revolution. i find it hilarious that it sold 666 (o_O) copies on DS and 2 on wii (i don't think i've ever seen a sales number THAT low).

sephten
sephten

any1 see that wii rock revelution only sold TWO copies? either thats a typo or the wii owners know what is a good game...

ChrisManso
ChrisManso

Alizerothree they sold less then 3,000 dollars meaning they sold less than 500 games.... wow theres 50 states and you sold 10 games per state sweet job lol

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

its just dance dance revolution, but with a guitar. nothing innovative about it at all.

modem22
modem22

YESSS !! Go Guitar Hero.... Die Rock Band and MTV!

BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

Meh, I want some of this money... Haha

doctorwang12
doctorwang12

YES....go guitar hero! i knew it would do better...good job to rock band tho there pretty good 2...lol sorry rock revolution but under 3,000 copies sold? thats pathetic...(not to mention 2 sold 4 wii)

Pixel_guy
Pixel_guy

Doesn't anyone know that the Rock Band creators made GH 1 and 2? It's funny to me that people say things like I've always liked GH more than Rock Band or Rock Band is copying GH. In my opinion, Rock Band is much better. The way the notes are laid out feel more natural and fun to play. Plus look at all the songs available!

ratboy51190
ratboy51190

Well, apparently rock band isn't 10 times better...Personally, as an objective bystander without a Ps3 or 360, I like World Tour's setlist much, much more. I knew easily 90% of the songs by name, and I've probably heard the others at some point. Rock band 2...well, I recognized 4 by name, and that would probably doubled when I actually heard the songs.

aBathingApe_
aBathingApe_

Personally I like GH more than Rock Band, and always have. But I've still bought both of them, and enjoy them very much. So realistically, I'm reflected in both of those numbers.

Mechalon
Mechalon

Its Madden vs. ESPN Football in music game fashion...and ironically, EA is publishing the ESPN Football. Brand name beats quality it seems.

thegame1980
thegame1980

A shame really since RockBand is 10 times the better game then Guitar Hero.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

I know I am going to get comments on this but I am surprised how much lower Rock Band 2 figures were compared to GH: World Tour. Rock Band 2 is just a better game, period. Maybe it will catch up when the Wii and PS2 versions come out.

racerx719
racerx719

Personally Im a bigger fan of Rock Band,, GH is a little too emo and hipster for me

Akhenaton666
Akhenaton666

Hmmm... this isn't a surprise... this isn't only about the games, it's about marketing people. Anyway, this games... the 3 games are great, but in my opinion, the setlists in any of this was really dissapointing... Cool for Cats?? What the hell!!! -_-" Eye of the Tiger?... Michael Jackson?... Damn!

ps2crazy17
ps2crazy17

to everyone bashing either game for copying each other: competition is the driving force for a better game. a monopoly would the last thing you'd want. then the company would save all their ideas for newer and newer versions to milk the money out of millions of people. so stop complaining about the copying. if you don't like a game then DONT BUY IT!

raichudl
raichudl

2 rock rev for the wii ouch.

Cronaroth
Cronaroth

Guitar Hero sold better because of A. the name, and B.Rock Band 2 isnt even on the Wii and PS2 yet while Guitar Hero World Tour is on everything already....

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

lol pwned Konami. only 300 units. that gots to hurt.

trw534
trw534

i personally like guitar hero better

gotdangit
gotdangit

I don't know why people are bashing both games so much. They are both good. What is wrong with GH? It copied Rockband? I like that they did that because I can play 4 players. Why do you hate Rockband? It copied Guitar Hero? They are both good games. I'm going with Guitar Hero cause I like the drums. I've heard they don't work sometimes but I can return them and hopefully they fix all that before Christmas. I actually heard people have fixed it so whatever. They are both good games gosh, stop complaining.

alex13echo
alex13echo

I want to meet the two people who bought rock rev on the wii. They are the greatest people in the world.