'Strong' Beatles: Rock Band sales bolster Viacom results

Fab Four's gaming debut helps reverse slumping rhythm game sales, but can't push media empire to revenue growth.

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In July, Viacom announced its second quarter results, lamenting the effect of dramatically slumping rhythm game sales on its bottom line. Today, the media company behind MTV Networks, BET Networks, and Paramount Pictures released its third quarter results, and as expected, the release of The Beatles: Rock Band helped reverse that trend.

"You never give me your money…"

In a statement accompanying the numbers, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman touted the game as one of its major successes for the three months ended September 30, alongside the latest "record-setting" installment of MTV's Video Music Awards and the continued performance of Paramount's summer blockbuster Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

For the quarter, Viacom's Media Networks division (which includes The Beatles: Rock Band) posted revenues of just over $2.12 billion, essentially unchanged from the same quarter the year before.

"Strong sales of The Beatles: Rock Band video game were offset by lower home entertainment and consumer products revenues, resulting in a 3 percent decrease in worldwide ancillary revenues," the company said.

Besides MTV and MTV Games, Viacom's Media Networks segment encompasses several television networks and their umbrella organizations. These include BET, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, as well as cross-media properties, such as the Addicting Games casual game portal and the Xfire communication and networking service.

Viacom as a whole showed improvement for the quarter. While revenues were still down 3 percent overall to $3.32 billion, net income was up 15 percent to $443 million. However, the company's numbers are still down for the full year. For the nine months ended September 30, Viacom posted revenues down 8 percent to $9.52 billion, and net income down 15 percent to $897 million.

Discussion

27 comments
Elvis4576
Elvis4576

to be honset i would rather listen to love me do then enter sand man for the millionth time. metallica sold out after i think the black album after that only 11-20 year olds listened to them because they went with the "flow". Ill remember metallica when they were good in the 80's when all they talk about was how much they hated glam metal

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i'll pass on beatles rb. i get more enjoyment out my gh 5 than i do my rock band 2. if i was to pick up any more gh or rock band it will be find gh metalica cheap because i would rather listen to metalica than beatles. i don't mind beatles but you know when it comes so down to it i would rather hear the likes of entersand man than love me do.

snake289
snake289

@ jeffv541 Stop getting Rock Band confused with Milk Hero.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

wonder now that mtv has their hands on gamespot and games, will they begin to show videos again? doubt it!

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

How long before we see an Elvis and Michael Jackson RB or GH?

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

On another note though, this is an easy buy for fans because they didn't just half-ass this product. There are really really trippy videos and the whole thing oozes with Beatles lore. How come they have yet to take out those stupid 3d characters and replace them with LIVE versions? That would be cool! At least do that to a few shows we have live footage for. let us play to their actual music videos as well!

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

@ 2bitSmOkEy That was kinda unfair to say considering the only reason not everybody would go to "Ruth's Chris Steak House" is because it's more expensive and less convienient, whereas music albums generally cost the same price it is safe to assume that they are one of the greatest bands out there due to number of albums sold. But you are right that quantity does not equate to quality, but dude.......this IS The Beatles were talking about!!

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@ nickythenewt21 yes sales numbers = quality. McDonalds pwns Ruth's Chris Steak House. Understand?

nickythenewt21
nickythenewt21

I love The Beatles... greatest. band. ever. (it's a fact...just look at how many albums they've sold)

WaffleHunter
WaffleHunter

I just downloaded the AbbeyRoad Album! Buy it! ITS AWSOME!

redskinStu
redskinStu

Yoko Ono should be a secret, unlockable character.

jeffv541
jeffv541

They will keep doing sequels until they run out of beatles songs.

thetravman
thetravman

I'm surprised they didn't compare it to Guitar hero. Everytime Activision announces their sales, they always brag about how they're beating Rock Band.

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

I played this in a store, it was good but it wasn't that challenging, maybe Hard is the way to go.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Yup, makes sense. It's a great game....really fun to play

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Next step: make lame attempts to replicate the success by churning out copycat games featuring every music group under the sun!

PS360_
PS360_

@Inconnux Old people aren't the only Beatles fans.

Inconnux
Inconnux

Didn't know that there was that many 'boomers' playing Video games...

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

For me personally, picking up The Beatles was a no-brainer, while I haven't played a Guitar Hero since... the second one, I think? The one with 'Free Bird.' While the Beatles fandom my wife and I share is obviously part of it, the other major factor was that this game was clearly cut from a different cloth. The ambition behind it was much more lofty than 'let's make another edition of the franchise with a few tweaks.' The tripped-out 'videos' for 'I Am The Walrus' and 'Yellow Submarine' are worth the price of admission alone, and stands as a monster upgrade from watching cartoon people do the same three stage animations. To make a long story short, the rhythm genre wouldn't be stagnating so quickly if developers were doing a better job of mixing quality and quantity.

dragonmaster335
dragonmaster335

I don't understand how viacom hasn't made any money off of RB...they've gotten well over 60 million downloads for all the DLC RB/RB2 has had....wtf is goin on?

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

expect sequels. lots and lots of sequels.

theunloved
theunloved

Nothing the Beatles can't fix. :)

jmartinez1983
jmartinez1983

Hopefully rhythm games will slow down to a more reasonable amount of releases and those devs can move on to making new stuff rather than just making new band centric games. I'm sure Harmonix can make some other cool music related games that aren't Rock Band.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

That is a BIG parent you got there... with lots of sisters and cousins. Yeesh.

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

'Strong' sales, but no sales numbers? Curious.