Guitar Hero video game hit a industry record on Monday, generating $1 billion in sales in North American retail within 26 months, a market research reported.

The NDP Group, a global research firm, said Activision Guitar Hero is the number one best-selling franchise in the U.S. for 2007 with sales of $1 billion in the North America alone. This amounts to more than 14 million units sold, in North America , since it first hit shelves back in Fall 2005.

The company's latest installment, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is now that best selling single-year video game title of all time in terms of units and total dollar amount.

For the first time in our history, we were the number 1 U.S. publisher for the calendar year. We are well on our way to delivering sixteen years of record revenue growth and by far our most profitable year ever, said Robert Kotick, the Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc.

Activision increased its market share for the year 2007 to a record 17.7 percent, which is a 7.2 percent increase over the same period last year. The Santa Monica, California-based company posted net revenues of $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.

Since Guitar Hero III's launch in October, gamers have downloaded 5 million songs, which cost $6.25 for a three-song pack or $2.50 for individual songs.

The Guitar Hero franchise originally launched in November 2005 for PlayStation 2 and was published by RedOctane. Activision, the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles, acquired RedOctane for $100 million in 2006.