1:56 AM | Posted in News
However, when only revenue is considered, the disparity between the two franchises narrows. 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.
While 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 combined $158.8 million. In October 2008, Guitar Hero World Tour sold just 978,000 units, minting just $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."