This Week In History: First ‘Guitar Hero’ Game Released

November 8, 2005: The first game in the Guitar Hero franchise is released, and quickly takes over the world of gaming.

In November of 2005, video game developer Harmonix and publisher Red Octane released a title that would alter the gaming landscape for the rest of the decade. This week in history, on November 8, 2005, Guitar Hero arrived for the Playstation 2 console.

The first Guitar Hero came with a mini Gibson SG-shaped controller and over 30 songs for gamers to flex their rhythmic chops on by following on-screen cues by pressing the corresponding “notes” on the guitar. The result was the launch of one of gaming’s most successful franchises of all-time.

Guitar Hero also helped introduce a new generation to some iconic bands and tracks from yesteryear. The inaugural released featured classic rock cuts like Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” Cream’s “Crossroads,” Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” as well as more contemporary songs like Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “No One Knows.”

The Guitar Hero and subsequent Rock Band franchise was born. The first release went on to sell 25-million units, resulting in over $2 billion in sales. Bands like Aerosmith, who eventually released their own Guitar Hero title, would earn more from the game’s sales than they had from any single album.

While the rhythmic gaming movement would lose much of its momentum by 2010, the influence of Guitar Hero on the video game industry left a lasting impact.