Activision has become the first games publisher in over a decade to topple EA as leading third party games publisher in the U.S., thanks in no small part to the success of Guitar Hero
The LA Times
reports that in the period between January and June 2007 Activision pulled in gross sales of $397.8 million (£192.7 million), beating EA's gross sales of $365.7 million (£177.1 million) by $32.1 million (£15.5 million).
"For 17 years, I've focused on becoming the number one video game company, and we're getting a lot closer to achieving that objective", Activision chief executive Bobby Kotick stated.
"We've never been better positioned as a company to take advantage of the growth in the video game industry.”
Of course, Activision's release of Guitar Hero II
on the 360 has gone up against a relative lull in EA's release schedule, with EA having a strong line-up for the latter half of the year including its Guitar Hero
challenger, Rock Band
EA has also been undergoing some internal restructuring. The recent revelation that Microsoft's Peter Moore will be defecting to EA
has been followed up today with the news that EA's executive vice president and chief operating officer of worldwide studios, David Gardner, will be leaving the company.
An EA spokesman said of the move, "David built a European business for EA that today generates more than $1 billion annually. Over the years, he became a cornerstone of our culture and the ethical code that we live by. We wish him the very best. David and his family will always have a home at EA."
Gardner plans to move back to Europe with his family.