Music games blamed for falling game sales

Written by Joe Martin

October 21, 2009 | 13:35

Tags: #band-hero #dj-hero #guitar-hero #metallica #rock-band #singstar

Companies: #activision-blizzard

Industry analysts are blaming the declining popularity of the music game genre on poor games sales this month, with the Guitar Hero and The Beatles: Rock Band both failing to meet the loft sales expectations set by publishers. Activision's music game sales are reported to be down by 25 percent compared to last year, for example.

According to, while investors were expecting to see double-digit growth for games sales this month, figures released by the NPD Group show only a 5 percent growth in the market - begging the question of whether gamers might finally be sick of rhythm games.

"We expected far higher sales for the month, as we succumbed to much of the hype surrounding the relatively high-profile launches of The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5," said Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter.

"We had expected the former to sell 1.3 million units, and thought that sales of the disc would drive sales of older Rock Band bundles; instead, the game sold fewer than half our estimate, and overall sales came in at $73 million, well below our $140 million estimate.

"Similarly, we thought that the giveaway of a voucher for Guitar Hero Van Halen would have great appeal, and would drive Guitar Hero 5 sales. The game sold fewer than our 700,000 unit estimate, and overall Guitar Hero sales were only $43 million, well below our $75 million unit estimate," he added.

Music games aren't the only genre bearing the brunt though - Microsoft's Halo: ODST apparently didn't get the reception it was expected to either, from fans or critics.

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