Activision expects “unprecedented” inventory of the recently-released Guitar Hero III, but even at that, the firm warns of possible shortages of the smash hit.
"Competitively, we expect the Guitar Hero franchise to be the winner at retail this holiday,” said CEO Robert Kotick during Activision’s quarterly earnings call. “We have huge early consumer response, well before the heavy-selling periods of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have an unprecedented amount of global supply, and the product is available now on all console platforms."
Guitar Hero currently has four iterations across four different platforms (a PC version of Guitar Hero III is also forthcoming), while MTV Games’ competing Rock Band is making its franchise debut on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PS2.
Kotick said that Activision’s Guitar Hero III launch is supported by 30,000 demo kiosks. The game released in late October, with Activision saying it generated $100 million in week-one North American sales.
Although Kotick praised the high levels of supply for Guitar Hero III, he said that due to "exceptionally high demand there’s a probability that this holiday we won’t be able to supply all the demand for every platform.”
Electronic Arts execs issued a similar warning with Rock Band, which the game maker is distributing, saying that the music game will "definitely" fall short of demand. Touted as “a band in a box,” Rock Band launches in the US on November 19 for $169 on Xbox 360 and PS3, and later this year on PS2 for $159.
Meanwhile, Activision execs said that the $59 next-gen software prices for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 software “will continue to hold,” along with $49 pricing for Wii games.