According to this AP piece, royalties musicians accrue from games such as Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero often exceed revenue from album sales.
Apparently, Aerosmith made more moolah from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than they did from their last two albums, while Nirvana and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have seen a sharp increase in numbers since getting involved in the rhythm action business.
According to NPD, "22 million units of Guitar Hero had sold in the US since its launch in October 2005, along with 5 million units of Rock Band since its debut in late 2007. The release of Guitar Hero: World Tour in October could boost revenue for the franchise some 40 percent over last year, according to analysts."
Although Warner has bemoaned the lack of money made from rhythm action games, it hasn't stopped them from allowing its artists to appear on these games. Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter says there is good reason for this:
"There are literally probably 2 million songs out there, and fewer than a 1,000 were used in these two games combined in these last two years," he said. "If Warner wants to say we'll take our 20 percent of the market and go away, a lot of bands are going to leave the label if they think they can get better exposure by being on these games."
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By Mike Bowden