All That Head-banging Nets $1 Billion

The NPD sales figures keep on giving: News yesterday that the Guitar Hero franchise has rocked out to the tune of $1 billion, with sales of some 14 million units in North America since it was launched two short years ago. Guitar Hero III, which was released last Oct., was the number one title in terms of software unit and dollar sales for 2007, according to NPD data. The $100 million Activision (ATVI) dished out in 2006 to acquire the franchise’s publisher RedOctane doesn’t seem like so much anymore. In any case, the figure isn’t much of a surprise. Guitar Hero is innovative and accessible all-around, from the additional hardware to an uber-simple premise that anybody can get into. Indeed, anecdotes from around BusinessWeek’s offices confirm that, yes, rocking out does transcend generational divide.

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