Activision overlord Bobby Kotick has said Guitar Hero is one of only three franchises to break USD 2 billion in sales - the others being Mario and Madden.
Kotick, during a Q1 earnings call, pointed out the "rather precipitous falloff" of Rock Band sales as reason for Guitar Hero's ever-growing 55 per cent share of the market (thanks Gamasutra).
During the quarter, Guitar Hero sales were 10 times that of Rock Band, and Guitar Hero World Tour was the best-selling third-party title in the US. GHWT made more money than any other Wii game in Europe, and was the only third-party title to be a top-five best-seller on the platform.
But Guitar Hero, unlike Madden and Mario, has its income bolstered by sales of plastic peripherals. The music franchise also makes a fortune from downloadable songs; Activision revealed that over 34 million have been downloaded to date, 14 million of those for Guitar Hero World Tour.
Unsurprisingly, then, Activision will make more Guitar Hero games. Yesterday, the company unveiled Band Hero, DJ Hero and Guitar Hero 5 for release this autumn.
Absent from that announcement, however, was the Van Halen spin-off - despite Guitar Hero overseer Will Kassoy confirming the game at a press event in LA this week.
"You've heard about this, maybe some rumours, but I am here to officially announce the title, which is coming out in the second half of this year," said Kassoy, according to GameSpot.
Van Halen will follow GH: Aerosmith and GH: Metallica, which Kassoy added "have done really well in the marketplace".
Guitar Hero: Metallica did well critically, too. Head over to our GH: Metallica review to find out why. It's not out here yet, but should be this month.