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CES 09: Activision CEO Dazzles CES Crowd With 2008 Line-up, Guitar Hero: Metallica

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Good news. If you missed Activision Publishing president Mike Griffith's CES talk this morning, you didn't miss much. Outside of seeing double-bass pedals in action in Guitar Hero: Metallica, Griffith kept Activision's 2009 plans quiet.

Not so with the intro, which featured Neversoft employees wailing away at Metallica's "Fuel" in the upcoming Guitar Hero: Metallica. The game, which I've never seen played in person, looks to follow Guitar Hero World Tour very closely, with the interface nearly identical, save for dashes of Metallica artwork nods scattered throughout — the "You Rock" screen, for example, is smashed into view with the St. Anger album cover fist.


When Griffith took over, however, the stage show took a turn for the tame.

Griffith may have sounded excited on a corporate level, proclaiming that the medium was "poised to eclipse all other forms of entertainment in the next decade," but frankly didn't tell the CES crowd much that hasn't been said before.


He came armed with statistics about his own products — 141,000 user created songs uploaded and 21 million songs downloaded for Guitar Hero World Tour, for example — and aimed to prove his claims with big sales data.

The Guitar Hero series, he said, was "the fastest game in history to reach a billion dollars in sales." Guitar Hero III, Griffith said, improved upon that record by becoming "the first game ever to pass a billion dollars in sales from a single title."

Griffith also touted Guitar Hero's success in other terms, citing stats from retailer Guitar Center. The music seller's survey findings indicated that sales of electric guitar and amplifiers, between January and September 2008, increased by 27% over the previous year. It credited some of that increase to the success of Guitar Hero.

Outside of the Guitar Hero series, Griffith also pointed to the success of Call of Duty as evidence that "gaming is no longer a solitary pursuit," boasting that 7 million people were playing the war games "at this very moment."


Honestly though, after Griffith expounded upon the "three pillars" that make video games just so peachy — story telling, community and interactivity — there wasn't much beyond a sales pitch about Activision's line-up from last year that would interest the Kotaku reading gamer. Hopefully, it was fascinating to CES attendees who paid to walk into the Industry Insider series. It did have graphs!