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Analyst: Three Expansion Packs Possible For Next Guitar Hero

Following a record quarter for Activision, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey estimates that Guitar Hero: World Tour will launch as many as three standalone expansion packs befor
The Guitar Hero empire has a long, long tail. At least, that's what Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey thinks, weighing in following Activision's latest record-setting fiscal quarter. According to the analyst, consumers could see as many as three full standalone expansions for Guitar Hero: World Tour before the next iteration of the franchise. Guitar Hero altogether, says Hickey, is clocking 21 million units sold globally to date -- incidentally, the analyst estimates 80 percent of these are domestic. With Guitar Hero: World Tour set to make its debut soon and preorders at 30 percent higher than Guitar Hero III, the publisher stands to make great gains with the new model, especially with DLC like the upcoming Metallica expansion pack. "We expect the Company will achieve tremendous success from the upcoming Metallica expansion pack, which will likely attach 20 percent of the installed base, implying nearly 5 million units or $250 million in sales," estimates Hickey. "We expect the Company will release at least 3 expansion packs for Guitar Hero IV before the next iteration of the franchise," he says. On the other hand, Hickey says the fourth Guitar Hero "could be an over-engineered product for the mass market." Nonetheless, Hickey says the media will likely focus on music creation elements to such an extent as to differentiate Guitar Hero: World Tour -- while the title also holds the potential to become a launchpad for new artists. "Ultimately the 'game' could produce a legitimate medium for artists, enabling music creation, marketing and distribution," says Hickey. Future iterations of the game might even be console-independent, he predicts, based on the primary aim of targeting "mass market non-gamer consumers."

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