MUSIC NEWS - MTV and The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd have today announced "an exclusive agreement to develop a global music project" (aka video game). Although no details such as song list or firm release date have been issued yet, though Giles Martin will oversee the music production and a simultaneous world-wide release for holidays 2009 is assured, this means that Harmonix (Harmonix is a division of MTV) video game has secured the top-selling catalog band of all time for a version of the hit game. Songs from the entire Beatles catalog will be included, with a game name still tbd. It was announced that the "Rock Band" name will not be used! The Beatles have, so far, remained out of digital music services, including iTunes Music Store, Amazon MP3 and others. No announcement of other digital deals was made. Harmonix/Rock Band and Activision's Guitar Hero are engaged in heated competition over exclusive rights to use music by major acts, having entered into multimillion-dollar licensing agreements with a few of the biggest names in the music biz. The Beatles are, of course, the biggest prize to date in the game business with their over 600 million records sold worldwide ! Guessing when the Beatles songs will enter into the download business has been afrequent source of industry discussion. That a videogame publisher got The Beatles songs before iTunes and its rivals really shows how important music-oriented game titles are to artists. With recorded-music sales continuing its long, steep decline, videogames can be more financially rewarding for well-known, sought-after bands than traditional sales. This game has the full co-operation of the surviving Beatles, Sir Paul and Ringo, and the OK of Yoko and Olivia Harrison. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” Sir Paul McCartney said.
UPDATE- see Beatles RockBand video game details and ordering information.
“It gives me great pleasure to be part of The Beatles / Apple and Harmonix / Rock Band partnership,” said Ringo Starr. “The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that The Beatles’ legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in. Let the games commence.” “It’s cool. I love it and hope it will keep inspiring and encouraging the young generation for many decades,” said Yoko Ono Lennon. “People are having so much fun playing Rock Band. Combined with The Beatles tracks, it is a great way to either listen or participate,” said Olivia Harrison. “If you like the music, it doesn’t take much persuasion to get you to play.”
We're sure that this Beatles video game which is still under development, whatever it is eventually called, will be huge and likely attract a wider, new audience for the Rock Band series !
A replay of today's Apple Corps and MTV press conference will be available beginning at 1:30pm ET today (10/30) through Tuesday, November 4. To access the replay, dial 1-888-203-1112 (U.S.) or 719-457-0820 (International) and enter the passcode 7847158.