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Activision declares third-party software dominance, thanks Guitar Hero


In Activsion Blizzard's Q1 2009 results announced today, the company made no small deal out of the contributions Guitar Hero: World Tour has made to its bottom line for the quarter. Citing figures from the NPD group, Charttrack and Gfk, Activision claimed software sales dominance with GHWT drawing in more money across all platforms than any other title's cumulative earnings for January 1 through March 31 in North America.

Also trumpeted was GHWT's performance on Wii as the console's highest-grossing third-party title in the US and Europe, noting in particular that it was the only third-party release among Wii's top five games in those territories. Sales of the Guitar Hero franchise in general were up 84% year over year in Europe, it said.

Activision CEO Robert Kotick commented during its investors call that the Guitar Hero franchise has reached $2 billion in sales -- only the third to achieve this status -- while bad-mouthing rival Rock Band as experiencing a "rather precipitous drop-off" in sales.

The "We're No. 1!" trend continued as Activision claimed the top PC spot -- a market where it holds three of the top 10 best-selling titles -- with World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart, according to figures provided by Apple, remains the top paid app for iPhone / iPod Touch, though the company didn't clarify whether that is in dollars or copies downloaded. What about Call of Duty? It did well enough to earn a brief mention in the publisher's earning statement, with publishing CEO Mike Griffith announcing that Call of Duty 4 has officially sold 13 million copies worldwide during the investor call. The franchise will likely have a much larger presence in the quarter following Modern Warfare 2's release.

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