Music and Video Games: A Smash Hit

Take Aerosmith's single "Same Old Song and Dance," for example, which was featured in "Guitar Hero III." According to Nielson, SoundScan, which tracks digital and retail music, sales of the song jumped 136 percent the week after the game was released and 400 percent a week after Christmas.

"Imagine how many people are buying and listening to Aerosmith songs right now because of "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith," says Tallarico. "Bands kill for that kind of exposure."

Another way musicians are profiting is through downloads offered directly through these new games.

Activision revealed that heavy metal band Metallica will debut its new album, Death Magnetic through Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, simultaneously with the store release this September.

And bands are jumping at the chance to participate.

The Sex Pistols reunited to rerecord an original master of "Anarchy in the U.K." so they could be included in "Guitar Hero III."

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