Rivals can’t compete with Guitar Hero

Activision has told MCV it will keep aggressively growing its share of the music category through retail collaborations, new promotions and expansion to new genres.

The publisher was celebrating this week after the Guitar Hero franchise secured its first number one – Guitar Hero 5 managed to top the UK All Formats chart in just two days.

The game beat The Beatles: Rock Band, which had been on the market a few days longer and launched around Beatlemania hype.

It all bodes well as the firm plans to launch its DJ Hero and Band Hero games towards Christmas – despite the influx of other music games – according to Michael Sportouch, the European head of the Guitar Hero franchise.

We are the clear leader of the category,” he said in an exclusive interview.

I’m not here to talk about the competition, but one of our competitors we outsell nine to one, eight to one or seven to one depending on the week. The last GfK research showed that we have a 50 per cent market share of the music category – which includes Rock Band, Wii Music, SingStar and every other music game. That doesn’t mean we are complacent, we still have lots of consumers to attract and educate.”

But what of the pressure on retail to fit more and more different guitar, microphone and instrument packages onto store shelves?

He said: One thing I do say to retailers is that they should stop selling those rival products which don’t sell through, and instead focus on the products that are selling through and generate retail value and return on investment.

In order to keep our retail activity strong we have pursued a number of innovative retail executions. So far on Guitar Hero we have a very strong sell through curve and sell through ratio and we want to ensure that continue to stimulate demand. Retailers want to see those products keep moving in and out of the store – that’s something we work very closely with them on.”

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