Guitar Hero III top US title by revenue - NPD

Rhythm game minted $830.9 million--but Call of Duty: Black Ops is closing fast with $787.4 million; Wii Fit, Modern Warfare 2, and Rock Band also make top 10.


Since 1995, the NPD Group has tracked retail sales data in the US market. Today, the industry research firm revealed its all-time top 10 titles by revenue--not unit sales--to financial television network CNBC. Riding high atop the charts was Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which has minted $830.9 million since its release in 2007. (The Guitar Hero series has since been put on indefinite hold.)

Four years before it was canceled, the Guitar Hero series was the top franchise in the game industry.
Four years before it was canceled, the Guitar Hero series was the top franchise in the game industry.

Coming up fast in the number two slot is last year's smash hit Call of Duty: Black Ops. Already the number one best seller by units in US history, with 13.7 million units sold, the Treyarch-developed title has made $787.4 million to date. That's just $43.5 million less than Guitar Hero III, the figure for which was inflated by sales of guitar-controller bundles.

Also boosted by bundling was the number three game, Nintendo's Wii Fit, which came with the Wii Balance Board. Fourth place was a stand-alone game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while fifth belonged to Rock Band, which was available a la carte or bundled with a drum set, microphone, and guitar. The games made $713.6 million and $670.7 million, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 were Wii Play (sixth), Guitar Hero World Tour (seventh), Wii Fit Plus (eighth), Mario Kart Wii (ninth), and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (10th). NPD did not release sales totals for the bottom half of the top 10 chart.

1. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock--Activision--$830.9 million
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops--Activision--$787.4 million
3. Wii Fit--Nintendo--$736.6 million
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2--Activision--$713.6 million
5. Rock Band--MTV Games-- $670.7 million
6. Wii Play--Nintendo
7. Guitar Hero World Tour--Activision
8. Wii Fit Plus--Nintendo
9. Mario Kart Wii--Nintendo
10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare--Activision

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Avatar image for SOUP_MAN_242


Avatar image for SOUP_MAN_242

@StJimmy15 nice username lol green day rocks lol....but ur wrong every one has wasted thier money on CoD no one is buying it srry

Avatar image for DanC1989

How the mighty have fallen.

Avatar image for Trogeton

OMG wow after that many years it STILL way up there??? lol and people were saying guitar hero died LOL I guess they were full of ..... nothing

Avatar image for StJimmy15

Black Ops has been out for 6 months.. give it time. Enough saps will buy it.

Avatar image for super600

Dey the Fallen Wii Fit Plus isn't really a bad game. It adds a lot of things that the first one had and some of the minigames are pretty hard and at times challlenging.

Avatar image for Defy_The_Fallen

Wii fit plus? who bothered buying that?

Avatar image for Dunbon

I died a little inside when I saw 3 of those games in the top 10 have call of duty on the front. Its a series that really has to die now. Its the exact same crap since cod4. COD4 was innovation. The rest is nothing but some balance and graphic updates.

Avatar image for super600

grasu@ I think the main reason Activision is hated is because of their business plan. Their business plan usually makes them destroy anything they touch. They also seem to mess with other publishers, developers and workers at times too.

Avatar image for CreatureRising

GHIII was the last Guitar hero that really was any good. It all went down hill......THOUGHHHHH GH Metallica was amazing.

Avatar image for nohabs

For some reason I thought GH was on it's way out

Avatar image for DanielL5583

Activision are profit whores. Agreed?

Avatar image for super600

Good job to anything that isn't Activision published and Wii play. I found Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus really good games and they are nowhere near shovelware quality haters. They both have a 7 and 7.5 on GS.

Avatar image for super600

CyberKlown@ You called the COD haters trolls. Most of the haters have legit complaints about the games,while the lovers hype the games up like their the greatst things alive.

Avatar image for Prime99

Still cant beat Dragon Force "Through The Fire And Flames"

Avatar image for HaloPimp978

It's called milking and that's exactly what Activi$ion does. Make easy money until the product as become stale. Glad I don't fall for their trap and their crappy games. Activi$ion is officially the devil of the gaming industry. All they care about is money and not gamers such greedy bastards.

Avatar image for Dalek-max

@TheArcade We Obviously have because they gone bust :S

Avatar image for Dagamemonkey

Guitar Hero III was really good.

Avatar image for ChromeOC

YAY! Call of Duty made the list 3 times! Here comes some more maps, this time, just $50 each with a $20 charge each time you play them!

Avatar image for soulless4now

Lot of Activision I see... /end of the world

Avatar image for RadicalToenail

More crap to go to Activision's ego. Damn you, Kotick. Damn you...

Avatar image for Rakuho

What can I say, the masses lover their casual gaming (minus Wii fit, of course).

Avatar image for Beastcake

Too much Activision on that list.

Avatar image for therickmu25

What do all these games have in common? 1. Easy to get in to 2. Hard to master 3. Sense of reward and achievable goals (COD-Ranking up/Guitar Hero increasing difficulty and getting higher scores / stars) Wii Fit (never played it but i'm sure it has a sense of reward) Recipe for success but you will have just as many people that hate you as love you.

Avatar image for TheArcade

You people won't stop buying Guitar Hero will you?

Avatar image for Ovirew

This list is kind of sad.

Avatar image for ashokmeena

No world of warcraft ??

Avatar image for PixelAddict

@treisgar You're right, I was confusing the two. Wii Play was the one they sold the extra controller, Wii Sports came with the Wii. I always get those two confused, mostly because I never played either (even the pack-in one got side-stepped because we had Wii Sports Resort).

Avatar image for SicklySunStorm

You can't see, but my face has disillusioned written all over it looking at that list *shakes head* None of the rhythm games deserve to be on there, I don't need to say anything more about CoD.... that just leaves Mario Kart I suppose, because Wii Play was NOT A GAME. People only bought it for the knock down priced controller, the game that came with it was an afterthought.

Avatar image for madmidnight

"That's just $43.5 million less than Guitar Hero III, the figure for which was inflated by sales of guitar-controller bundles." Because Black Ops didn't have an $80 and a $150 dollar bundle? What the crap is this gamespot, you guys are seriously just throwing out anything you think of without thinking or doing research. Both games are crap. Cod4 and Guitar hero 2 deserve those sales if anything.

Avatar image for RoOodriGowW

Woah chill guys GH3 was a good game and activision hadn't completely stained it by then.But now it deserves the grave , along with CoD if something doesn't change drastically.

Avatar image for NickyWithATicky

It just goes to show how much a game sells doesn't determin how good it is. This is true for all media really: games, movies, music, etc.

Avatar image for the_punkface

What A waste of money.....

Avatar image for NICKKELANIUS

damn i have 7 games on that list im a victim of consumerism!!! :(

Avatar image for King_Gamer19

Let's be real about CoD:Black Ops the only reason it's selling better is because it's on the Wii & DS were CoD:MW2 wasn't

Avatar image for treisgar

@ PixelAddict, I think your getting Wii Sports and Wii Play a bit mixed up. Wii Sports was shipped with the Wii while Wii play was a retail game that was bundled with a wiimote.

Avatar image for bradlbauer

And then every game started coming out with gimmicky bundled in crappola.

Avatar image for PixelAddict

That is a LOT of plastic "instruments". Is it just me, or is Wii Play cheating? That thing shipped with every Wii sold. Given that, it strikes me Wii Play should have been even HIGHER.

Avatar image for JunglemanchiId

Wow, I like none of the games in the top 10 :S

Avatar image for grasu

CONTINUED In fact, if you look at many companies that were in Activision's place last generation (EA, Take2) and made ****loads of money recycling franchises you'd see that today thanks to the franchises that they spawn on a yearly basis and market to casual consumers we get games such as Red Dead Redemption, Dead Space, Borderlands, etc. I don't see why this trend won't continue in the future.

Avatar image for grasu

Very good job by Activision. Nitendo did well too. However, by reading some of the comments against Activision around here I have to wonder if some of you people don't own stock at competing companies. What's wrong with Activison making money out of gaming? Isn't that what a business is supposed to do? Didn't Midway, Interplay and others go bankrupt because they didn't make money? If Atari would have went out of business 3-4 years ago when they were on the edge of insolvency would that have spared gamers from lousy anime tie-in games? Obviously companies need to make money to surivive and if Activision isn't making moeny out of miliking franchises, you can bet someone else will. Nitendo, EA, Sony, Microsoft, THQ, Take2, and everyone else is waiting just around the corner. I say that instead of *****ing endlessly about Activision perhaps we should look at this in a different light. To give you an example outside the industry, when Porsche released the Cayenne a few years back enthusiasts said that the sports car was obsolete, that the Cayenne (SUV) was marketed to the massess, that it's the end of Porsche, etc. Well it wasn't. And I doubt gaming is any different.

Avatar image for strayfies

None of this is surprising. I'm more surprised that people enjoy playing duplo guitars. Hopefully more of the real guitar shows up soon - it's a shame to think of how many would-be musicians are falling through the cracks of enormous colored buttons.

Avatar image for grungeman91

Kotick is the cancer that's killing gaming.

Avatar image for Eric_Drav3n

nice list of crap

Avatar image for taino1128

@NColdhardt They cater towards casual gamers. That is why they sell so well.

Avatar image for warhawk-geeby

COD map packs being 12 pounds probably has something to do with this.. This top 10 list depresses me.. In the back of my mind I could have guessed half of these.. which isn't a good thing. Fair play to Nintendo though, they've done well this generation.

Avatar image for OmegaGear

Geez, 5 of the top ten belong to Activision and 4 to Nintendo. 6 (maybe 7 if you include Mario Kart) revolved around needing or being packed with peripherals. Is anyone else a little disturbed by these results?

Avatar image for mtait01

wow, its actually quite sad that 3 COD games are on there, but there again its also quite sad that its also polluted with Rythem games and wii fit stuff. Would any of these win a GOTY? considering they are the 10 top revenue games, you would think so, but nope

Avatar image for simmeon1

Some of you guys complain that Activision gets too much money from CoD, when you don't realise that Guitar Hero is also published by Activision. Not saying that they're bad (maybe excpet Lag Ops), just sayin

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