Guitar Hero World Tour sells 978K in Nov.

UBS reports Activision beat Rock Band 2-to-1 in November rhythm-game revenues--but 30.8% year-on-year earnings slide despite product doubling rings alarm bells.


This week brought some good news for Activision: Guitar Hero World Tour was November's top music game. Though NPD hasn't released any specific sales figures other than the Wii version's 475,000-unit tally, UBS analyst Ben Schachter provided a rundown of the Guitar Hero franchise's sales for the month. He also tabulated the combined sales of Electronic Arts, MTV Games, and Harmonix's rival series, Rock Band.

How much juice does Guitar Hero have left in it?
How much juice does Guitar Hero have left in it?

According to Schachter, just more than 1.7 million Guitar Hero games were sold in the US during November 2008, a 25.3 percent decrease from the nearly 2.3 million of the year prior. All Rock Band games, by contrast, sold fewer units by comparison--just 628,452--but saw a massive 64.7 percent increase in sales from the year before.

However, the disparity between the two franchises narrows when only revenue is considered. Guitar Hero games generated $145.9 million in the US last month, down 19.5 percent from November 2007's $181.1 million. However, thanks to an installed base of instruments, Rock Band games didn't see that much of an uptick, rising just 9.7 percent to $68.7 million during the month.

Although impressive, Rock Band and Guitar Hero's combined $214.6 million haul was actually a 12 percent slide from November 2007. More disturbing for Activision is the steep decline in both revenues and units for the Guitar Hero franchise. In November 2007, Guitar Hero III's six SKUs--or individual retail-product configurations--generated 1.9 million units in sales, amounting to a combined $158.8 million. In October 2008, Guitar Hero World Tour sold just 978,000 units, minting $109.8 million.

Though Schachter blames the lower number in part on constrained supply, he echoed a colleague's concerns that this downward trend is a sign that the rhythm game market may be saturated. "This will fuel concerns that the genre is past its peak," he said in a note to investors. "With Activision and others sure to bring new innovation to the genre next year, we can't count it out, but it almost certainly won't be the growth driver it has been over the past two years."

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Avatar image for MattHopeKids

If you have a wii buy GH. It deserves to do well, it had a lot of effort put into it (full online functionality, DL content, mii freestyle, save and run extra content from SD cards) , whereas if you have a 360 or ps3 you should get RB, GH just doesn't compare on either of those consoles. That's from my experiance anyway.

Avatar image for Mancinaboyz

Music games suck, sooner or later there all gonna have crappy songs in their playlist

Avatar image for strokeheat27

umm people attention guitar hero just beat rock in sales for november not 74overall which actually not that impressive considering most of the pople porbably got rockband the month before but go celebrate gh fanboys

Avatar image for iliastse

Glad to see World Tour going well in terms of sales. It means we 're gonna see a lot of these games in the future :wink:

Avatar image for onthe_dl

wow that's amazing! a game that just came out is selling more units then a game that's been out for a while now!?!? come on, obviously something that just came out will sell more.

Avatar image for link631

nice it will get 1M before christmas

Avatar image for littletotheleft

heheh, dagobaker, rock band 2 is a much better game, but not by much... ? thanks

Avatar image for skaterboyrobin

Superion is completely right.

Avatar image for Superion74

GH outsells RB only because RB2 came out earlier for 360, and GH has bigger marketing campaign and bigger brand name. However, RB2 > GHWT and it's just a much better game.

Avatar image for Ignition93

I've played both...and get this........I found both good! :O discovery of the century!

Avatar image for megamega777

i picked rock band for it's DLC and i'm very happy for it. Haven't picked up Rock Band 2 because of it.

Avatar image for faceman420

interesting since Activision claimed a couple months ago that gamers had an unending appetite for rhythm games..

Avatar image for umbaquaw

Wow, what is this Fanboy BS going on over World Tour and the sales? RB2 came out in September, GHWT in October.Oh well. Who cares. Both games are adding life to the industry, getting people into real music and both taking ways to innovate as since there is now competition. Get the heck over it. I bought GH:WT for the Drums, not because of the "Brand Name." People can like whatever one, and there needs to be competition or else things will really stale up quickly.

Avatar image for charma

ridiculous since rock band is so much better.

Avatar image for dagobaker

rock band 2 online is a much better game......but.......not by much.....and i think u need to own both imho

Avatar image for kuriku1

Ok u fanboys have to stop arguing! Just pick one game and be happy with it!

Avatar image for lathan94

I think Activision should release one guitar hero to rule them all then just release more songs for it and forget about making another guitar game for a while.

Avatar image for Thats_Bull

I agree with SkeletalKnight... Rock Band 2 came out for 360 in freaking november... most people who bought it got it then, not two months later. GH:WT is pulling on numbers from four systems, whereas RB2 is basically just one, and it is still fairly close! Activision is killing their franchise for sure... it's only a matter of time now.

Avatar image for Loudli

I enjoy the enourmous amount of tracks from rock band, but theres something about the guitar hero interface that i like....if only the 2 could merge together in a fury of musical madness

Avatar image for SkeletalKnight

Rock Band 2 was released earlier on the 360, I guarantee that had a lot to do with this "2 to 1" ratio.

Avatar image for bassmaniac20005

Ignorance is what's making this game sell so much. It's everywhere--Activision has spent millions advertising the GH franchise. Here's a scenario: You're a middle-aged parent of three kids--one kid is 10, one is 11, and one is 13. You have no knowledge of video games whatsoever. Your 13 year old comes up to you and says, "There's this game I want for Christmas. You play along to songs with a guitar, drums, and a microphone." You go to Best Buy and go to the video games section. Which game do you buy? This is pretty much what a quarter of the sales of Guitar Hero World Tour are: people who have no knowledge of video games at all. It sucks to see the better game advertised less. As long as the Guitar Hero franchise dies, the music game industry will stay alive for at least eight years. There's still so much more--HMX got The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd--a ton.

Avatar image for Thebomb44

Like I said, you can't expect a game costing $200 to sell as well as a $100ish game did last year considering the economic slump we're facing. Not only that, but I think World Tour lost some of its novice appeal in the changes they added. The game just feels different and harder now, even if it's not. (Which it of course is thanks to the hammer-ons and timing.) ewmgreendog is a perfect example of why the genre struggles between the two games. Fanboyism. Considering how close the two game's tracklists are, it's pathetic to call one juvenile. Does Hotel California come across as juvenile? I'll admit that The Middle might be a little juvenile... oh, but wait! RB has that one too! Not to mention Guitar Hero has already had a ton of tracks in the past that they can't reuse, whereas Rock Band has no problem recycling Carry On My Wayward Son and a few others. I don't have a problem with Rock Band, I just find it less gratifying than Guitar Hero in the presentation and whatnot. I prefer the over-the-top rock layout and such, which unfortunately World Tour lost a bit. (Come on, Midori is NOT a headbanging loon! So much for representing J-Pop like GH3's version did!) In the end, it is true as somebody below pointed out that WT is on more systems than RB, but that's Harmonix's fault. They were late to make a Wii version in Rock Band 1, and it ended up killing them since GH sold the most units on Wii.

Avatar image for squirlnuts2005

i think since alot of people have been buying the guitar hero series since whoever long that they are still getting gamers to buy new stuff...which are little kids....parents know about guitar hero and u see commercials which show more GH then im not surprised...all i know is that RB is better then WT just becuase i know wat a good game is. Not wat parents think is a good game cause there 10 year old kids are asking for it for christmas

Avatar image for chazzx21

I think after GH: Metallica, this genre will be too stagnant to continue with it's current setup. There will be nothing left on the wish lists of the masses, only the eclectic tastes of the musically inclined.

Avatar image for Zidaneski

Hopefully Activision will reconsider all the different GH SKUs they plan to put out. I wanna see what the new Beatles game is gonna be like since its not Rockband related.

Avatar image for finaleve

silverchief > Proof or BS. I have never heard of any reports that the GH series was going to implement any instrument into their GH series. The only thing they've ever considered doing was a separate game if anything. Not a compilation of instruments in 1 game. Honestly, I prefer RB over GH. After playing RB and seeing how much fun I had over playing GH (with and without friends), I kept with RB2. I'm tempted to get GHWT but only for its music creator.

Avatar image for Sydwynder

Can I shoot something in these games? I'd rather play my real guitar.......

Avatar image for ewmgreendawg

The artwork, presentation, song selection, and design all seem very juvenile in Guitar Hero. That's because guitar hero is in fact made for 13 year old kids. No time for talk though. I need to go play one of my 500 Rock Band songs.

Avatar image for rockstar_88

This is like saying Britney Spears is great because she sold millions of albums as opposed to The Strokes, but does that make her good? HELL NO. I'm seeing almost exact parallels here with GH:WT and RB2.

Avatar image for okassar

Meh,I went for RB2 because it had more songs(20 on top of the 83=103),better songs overall(IMO),and here's a big one,screen presentation.To me,the notes look better,and when they get hit it's cooler you know the chunks fly off and all,the graphics are so much better,the crowds look bigger,and there's more light and all---not to mention the new "video shoot" effect thing,I mean,for GH:WT,even the microphone "notes" look wierd with the circle going up and down,and they even changed the drum notes so there's a wierd little bump in the middle lol. I greatly considered GH:WT because of the instrument quality though,and also the song making system.They're both great games in the end x)

Avatar image for Black_Kill3r

I don't think anybody is shocked that the sales dropped from last year , in the end a lot of people own previous guitar hero games and the others own rock band , so why upgrade if you're happy with the older version , witch is basically the same game with new songs. Another thing to consider is that both bundles cost 150$ so they aren't so accessible to people.

Avatar image for Musashi920

There really is not competition between the 2 games. It's all a matter of which you ended up buying or which game has what exclusive songs from which artists. All in all this was all just a fad just like DDR was a fad from late 90s and early 00s. We should all be focused now on what will be the next fad for the music genre. I'm going with DJ turntable game for the consoles. Maybe breakdancing eye toy type game?

Avatar image for KyoValdez

What happen to Jesus?

Avatar image for gmagnus

GH outsold RB 2 to 1? Isn't it also on twice as many systems?

Avatar image for silverchief

Idk mvsteelersfan, from the way I read about the Red Octane/Harmonix break up, it sounded like Harmonix was bought out by EA and MTV games.. not really Red Octane's choice. But it was also said that that GTWT was being produced long before Rock Band even debuted, therefor pointing the finger at RB for copying their competition. Either way, the whole competitive thing between the two games it getting kind of outta hand..

Avatar image for mvsteelersfan

Besides this all gh's fault in the first place...if they hadn't cut harmonix then harmonix wouldn't have made rockband. Then once gh realized that rockband was a much more liked and played game than gh they decided to make ghwt which it is barely even as good as the first rockband. This whole thing is one big joke.

Avatar image for mvsteelersfan

Of course revenue is down, people are waiting for the holidays. You just wait the opposite of this story will happen in january about revenues in december

Avatar image for karateyoyo

They need to slow down on making these games. The economy is bad enough as it is... These companies don't need to be spending more money making games than selling them.

Avatar image for zgreenwell

Yes it is saturated.

Avatar image for OmegaGear

The genre is past its peak for sure, but I think some major innovation can still be had. As some have mentioned, the full band experience is still not present. Adding in rhythm guitar can go a long way, as well as back up singing. Sure, they may sound like small pieces, but it can get the experience to be more involving for more people at the same time. One thing that I always thought would be nice would be to have the mic be motion controlled like the PS3 controller to allow the lead singer to direct the crowd or perform antics on stage. Or how about a true band mode where you start as a garage band and have actual set lists you take to gigs and based on the demograph, can be ahit or a bust? As great as world tour mode is in both games, I'm sure everyone here can agree its not anything close to a true band experience.

Avatar image for senjutsu

this is pretty good if you count all the incindents they got with the launch instruments... This made a lot of bad rumors on them. It's impressive to sell that much. I played it with friends and it's really cool :D. The drum is fun to play on, I wonder what's gonna be the next instrument. Surely no new instruments in the 2 next years... But that's cool, buying new stuff is cool but hard on the wallet, lol.

Avatar image for Obamamaniac

People are getting tired of playing the same rhythm games with diffreent songs, but they'll still make some money. I know, I'll be the one buying them.

Avatar image for Mush_Mouth

Of course the genre is past its peak, they release a new guitar hero every freakin' month. They were fun in the beginning but geez, with all the money people put into this crap they could buy real instruments and learn to play the songs themselves. But then I forgot, nothing makes the girls go nuts like making it through TTFAF on expert, right?

Avatar image for MacBrother

When Harmonix's Beatles game comes out this reign of terror will end.

Avatar image for OICWUTUDIDTHAR

I have neither WT or RB2 : P. Not sure which one I would choose. I have the first Rock Band, but I find myself playing GH II the most still. Just not an upgrade I need for myself. But when it comes to parties and stuff, get some Corona bottles, pop in Rock Band with your buddies, and you're in heaven lawl.

Avatar image for Shineyney


Avatar image for Syk0_k03r

ghwt beats rb2 in sales and sales only AND NOTHING ELSE

Avatar image for Dire_Weasel

No accounting for taste, I guess.

Avatar image for Wesdawg7

Oh yeah i forgot Rock Revolution>GHWT

Avatar image for Wesdawg7

The fact of the matter is: Rock band is the better game by far but guitar hero has way more advertising {i've seen about 6 different comercals for it} than rock band. But reguardless rock band is way better