Guitar Hero is reinvigorating real guitar sales, Activision boasted, also claiming that Guitar Hero III has become the first game to surpass $1 billion in sales.
I'm sure a lot of you have heard this one before, maybe over lunch with some non-gamer friends or during the tail end of a Rock Band party when you decide to go get a drink of water and happen to start up a conversation with the one person who hasn't been playing all night: "Why don't you just play a real instrument?" I usually argue that the experience of playing a music game and actually playing music are two wholly different things. If we take Activision's word for it, though, the former can be a bridge to the latter, as a 27 percent growth in real guitar sales in 2007 shows. The sudden spike in interest in playing music for reals was driven by Guitar Hero, according to Activision, who cited instrument retailer Guitar Center as their source.
Two-thirds of non-musicians who play or have played music games plan to start playing a real instrument, while three-fourths of musicians say that they're inspired to spend more time with their instruments after playing a music game, Activision said. That's a lot of planning and not much evidence of actually doing, but it's nice to know that the games are inspiring people to do new things in life.
Activision revealed these stats at CEO Mike Griffith's keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. Griffith seemed to be in a boastful mood, as he also claimed that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has become the first videogame ever to singlehandedly pass $1 billion in sales.