Report: MTV Games, WMG enter licensing stalemate

<i>The Hollywood Reporter</i> says Rock Band publisher and record label have reached deadlock over usage fees, may delay new content.

Warner Music Group is one of the largest record labels in the world, but it may be some time before any more of its artists appear in MTV Games' Rock Band franchise. Following on from disgruntled comments made by WMG CEO Edgar Bronfman in August, Wired reported last month that MTV Games is now "boycotting" the label in response to the company's demand for increased licensing fees.

As it turns out, Wired's characterization isn't the only spin on the situation. Speaking with sources at both WMG and MTV Games this week, The Hollywood Reporter reports that the disagreement is better termed as a "stalemate." According to the news trade, MTV at some point put in a request to WMG for a number of new licenses, but, in line with Bronfman's stance, the record label returned a counteroffer that the Rock Band publisher was not amenable to. Therefore, MTV Games is holding off on further license requests until an arrangement with WMG can be settled on.

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, a number of WMG artists have had their tunes released as part of developer Harmonix's weekly releases of new playable songs through Rock Band and its sequel this year, including the Grateful Dead and the Pretenders. Others, such as Jane's Addiction and its Nothing's Shocking album, are still planned for release later this year.

However, the licensing agreements for the aforementioned WMG artists were reportedly arrived at before the record label changed its stance on the issue. As a result of the dispute, The Hollywood Reporter claims MTV Games will run out of new WMG music by early summer, and it may take up to five months after a resolution has been agreed on before the label's artists once again begin appearing in the game.

Written By

Want the latest news about Rock Band 2?

Rock Band 2

Rock Band 2

Follow

Discussion

39 comments
jjdomo
jjdomo

@barilli71 . . . Ten comes out the week of March 24th. I'm so amped for it!

senorbusyman
senorbusyman

at least WB should help out by releasing new tracks like the Metallica Track Pack 02 or an Aerosmith Track Pack!!!

raiding_kvatch
raiding_kvatch

Warner should realise that A Rock Band = $£$£$£$ and B Rock Band creates huge publicity for a band, look at what Guitar Hero did for Dragonforce

barilli71
barilli71

Hopefully they don't revert back to releasing cover versions of songs. BTW - when is the Pearl Jam-Ten album suppose to be out?

shady_825
shady_825

So let me get this straight: Warner doesn't like money?

Autolycus
Autolycus

greed sucks, now you wont have any body to feed your endless need for more... Good job forgetting where the real power lies... in the people.

bassmaniac20005
bassmaniac20005

As long as the music of U2, Led Zeppelin, Bloc Party, The Cure, and The Allman Brothers Band aren't owned by a company under WMG, I could care less.

Hedfix
Hedfix

Well I guess if you don't like it then you can boycott WB products until it's resolved.

David_Kniffin
David_Kniffin

amkalfus, games are about money too... in case you never noticed.

lukefartedagain
lukefartedagain

@mikefat I have long wanted to play Story of the Year (now signed to Epitath).

solidusScott
solidusScott

I wonder how much of all these licensing fees go to the actual artists.

method115
method115

@carpe_Noctum Dude get serious I'm so tired of internet keyboard warriors claiming to know business tactics better then the company that owns it. Unless you own a company as large as Warner please sit down and hope for the best. Whatever you do, don't try to convince us that you know how to run Warner better then they do.

Carpe_Noctum
Carpe_Noctum

The rich never have enough money and are never happy. This is why I give no money to these companies. There is PLENTY of music out there for MTV Games to use without catering to Warner. Warner must not realise that they will be hurting their own bottom line in the end as the Rock Band games get their music out there and it generates interest which in turn sells music.What knuckleheads.

Pete5506
Pete5506

There goes are good music

Vash67
Vash67

First Youtube, and now Rock Band? Warner Music thinks way too highly of themselves. I hope MTV and Harmonix don't give into their demands. Both Youtube and Rock Band/Guitar Hero have greatly helped expand musical boundaries and if WMG thinks that being part of it all isn't worth it, let them go. When they finally notice the hit they'll be taking in their wallets, they'll be dying to make any deal offered to them.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I just want the music already!

gnbfd
gnbfd

@mikefat DUDE! Metallica, Hendrix, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, ACDC, A7X, Disturbed, and the Chili Peppers are on WMG.

mikefat
mikefat

Maybe now MTV and rock band will go to some good music companies like Epitath and Victory to get some good music instead of junk like the pretenders or greatful dead. How about some freaking music that people who actually play your games listen to ftw!

that-invisibo
that-invisibo

Dwoop: Roadrunner Records is owned by Warner, so they won't be selling either. Anyways, I don't see what Warner's trying to do here. It's not like this is iTunes where people would notice if their music is all gone. RB gets a seemingly random assortment of songs each week; if they don't add something from Warner, they'll just add something from another label and no one would notice. Unless all the labels do this, they're just losing out on money.

XeonForce
XeonForce

Songs and albums that appear in music games have increased downloads and cd sales. Why the hell is WMG the only record label that has a problem with the DLC profit percentage? If MTV is giving them problems, let Harmonix talk directly to them, because if Harmonix can't work something out with WMG, no one can.

amkalfus
amkalfus

everyone wants their money. there is so much money to be made from downloadable music in any form, the WMG is just realizing how much mroe money they could be making. sad because games are about the games, not the damn money

gerhardtscriven
gerhardtscriven

Amazing that in these economic times that WMG would rather earn nothing than something. Well done, losers :-)

Beastcake
Beastcake

In the end, we're the ones stuck paying the prices...

devilscry
devilscry

greedy greedy greedy. Mean while this is money they wouldn't have been making on the side if not for Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. And now they ask for more? they're lucky they got/get anything. Why are we always the ones gett screwed over, we're the ones spendin the money. Its not like WMG is making the music themselves

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Well, hopefully the other labels have some good music they can draw from.

venomdeo
venomdeo

This is BULL CRAP ,WMG are a-Holes and they are just greedy thats what it boils down to.

gnbfd
gnbfd

damn this sucks. According to rbdlc.com, these are all the artists that record(ed) under WMG: * AC/DC * Against Me! * Atryeu * Avenged Sevenfold * The B-52s * Bad Company * Black Sabbath * Blondie * The Cars * Eric Clapton * Alice Cooper * The Cure * CKY * The Darkness * Death Cab for Cutie * Disturbed * Dokken * The Doors * Dream Theater * DragonForce * The Eagles * Evanesence * Flaming Lips * Fleetwood Mac * Flyleaf * Garbage * Green Day * HIM * Jane's Addiction * Jet * The Jimi Hendrix Experience * Kid Rock * Killswitch Engage * Linkin Park * Lost Prophets * Mastadon * Metallica * The Monkees * Motley Crue * Alanis Morissette * My Chemical Romance * Muse * Machine Head * Megadeth * Nightwish * Opeth * Panic at the Disco * Pixies * The Pretenders * Paramore * The Ramones * R.E.M. * Red Hot Chili Peppers * The Sex Pistols * Slipknot * Sum41 * Taking Back Sunday * Testament * Trivium * Van Halen * The Velvet Underground * Violent Femmes so we can't get any of their **** until this works out. great.

puablo
puablo

Ugh, this likely means that the last third of the 18 Grateful Dead songs that were announced well before RB1 even came out is going to be delayed further. Figures.

perfectdark87
perfectdark87

I agree with the general concencus of the comments thusfar. WMG already killed the incredible outlet for free expression that is (was) YouTube, and now they're targeting other media in the hopes of deepening their pockets. What the hell is wrong with these people? Take the free marketing and run with it! That's exactly what having your song in Rock Band does, it provides free marketing. Honestly, is $2 average cost per DLC song not enough for these greedy people? You pay half of that to get an MP3 of the same song, so what's the big deal? I'm sure WMG is hurting for money...yeah, right. If this is another way for them to "fight back against pirating", then they're looking for money in the wrong media. MTV should not back down. WMG will realise very soon what a huge mistake they are making by jeopardizing this partnership, and come crawling back, begging for their music to be in Rock Band once more.

Dmg051793
Dmg051793

WMG reallt ruined my youtube experience :/ I can't have them ruin this too! NO DAMPERS ON MY DLC!

gmagnus
gmagnus

"Why can't they use a different label and shove it in WMG's face? There are plenty of other artists under different labels they could use." So you interpreted this article as meaning WMG is the only label they get music from and you read "run out of new WMG music" as "run out of new music"?

dwoop
dwoop

How about some great song releases from some better companies...hello, Roadrunner Records!! C'mon MTV stick to "the greedy man"...besides we need more "real rock songs" anyway and a lot less WMG's pop-crap!

drewciferpike
drewciferpike

I agree with 4quarters: Being in RB or RB2 allows artists/labels to engage in FREE marketing, in the sense that fees will be paid for being in the game, and then people will pay AGAIN to have a song that can be played on regular music devices (either MP3 or CD). ...Don't be greedy, WMG. To be honest, I had never heard of some of the artists that had tracks available for free download for RB2, and now one of those tracks is my absolute favorite. ONCE AGAIN: those were FREE tracks to download, and after hearing and playing one that I really liked in-game, I went out and bought it.

atopp399
atopp399

Why can't they use a different label and shove it in WMG's face? There are plenty of other artists under different labels they could use.

lab223
lab223

CRAP WMG is being dumb.First Youtube now the awesomeness of ROck Band!Cmon,enough is enough

4quarters
4quarters

The record labels should be begging Rock Band to be in the game- It'sa proven fact all these bands sell more records(uh...cd's and downloads) after they get the exposure. You can't copy the songs to cd or play then in any digital device(yet) so what the hell is wrong with these greedy record companies(and their bands)!!!!!! I've spent a fortune downloading their music once I liked it in game!!!!! Go Rock Band, don't pay!!!!