Franchise publisher Activision made the announcement today, saying the 26 months it took the series to reach the billion-dollar sales mark is an industry record. The Guitar Hero games have collectively sold over 14 million units in North America alone since its 2005 launch, and NPD numbers indicate that the most recent addition to the series, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, was the top-selling title in 2007 in both dollars and units sold. More than five million songs have been downloaded for the game since its release less than three months ago.
"Guitar Hero is one of the biggest brands and one of the most powerful distribution platforms in all of entertainment today," said Activision Publishing CEO Michael Griffith. "Guitar Hero's popularity with broad audiences is a confirmation that videogames have become a true mass medium."
Last week, Activision announced it had moved into the position of top console and handheld game publisher in the U.S., holding 17.7 percent of the market share, according to year-end NPD figures, powered primarily by the successes of Guitar Hero III and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.