It's a well-guarded secret that I play Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The previous statement was, in fact, a lie. I play them quite often (Rock Band more than Guitar Hero these days) and find myself buying new downloadable tracks on a regular basis. Apparently I'm not alone, as the games actually pulled in more money last year than all of the (legal) digital music downloads combined.
Yes folks, the mighty iTunes was beaten down by a couple of video games. What's interesting is that Rock Band only got in at the end of 2007, I can only imagine what the numbers will be like for 2008. For those not into the game, Harmonix has been releasing 3 new tracks every single week, with no intention of slowing down. While there likely won't be a Rock Band 2 out this year, they're set to make plenty more off of the downloadable content.
What's more is that some of these small-time bands are getting some major recognition from these games. Despite the vast number of things Buckethead has done, I doubt that many people of our generation would have appreciated the raw talent this guy has if it weren't for Guitar Hero. I wouldn't be surprised if more musicians used these games as an outlet for recognition.