WSJ: Beatles playing Rock Band's tune

Source: See below. What we heard: This may be the shortest rumor ever to shake up the game industry. This afternoon, MTV issued a press release alerting the world to a major announcement coming tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. They did so via a widely e-mailed press release with no actual...

by

Source: See below.

What we heard: This may be the shortest rumor ever to shake up the game industry. This afternoon, MTV issued a press release alerting the world to a major announcement coming tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. They did so via a widely e-mailed press release with no actual body text and simply a headline: "Apple Corps Ltd. and MTV to Announce Exclusive Agreement to Develop Unprecedented Global Music Project."

How could one line cause such instant--and widespread--attention? Because, as made famous by its epic 30-year legal battle with iPod-maker Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer), Apple Corps Ltd. is the company whose main purpose is to manage and publish all forms of media related to a certain seminal 1960s rock quartet known as The Beatles.

One of the most influential bands in the history of modern music, the Beatles have sold billions of dollars' worth of records since their formation in 1960. The remain a major musical presence and multimedia phenomenon 46 years after they first gained popularity in the UK in 1962 and 38 years after they split up in 1970. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed the quartet--of whom two members survive--atop their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The official story: See above.

Bogus or not bogus?: Given that the only non-Apple press contacts on the announcement are for MTV Games and MTV Games' product catalog is all Rock Band-related (other than Phase on the iPod), this is looking not bogus. Guess Paul McCartney heard good things from Roger Daltrey on the legends-of-rock cocktail scene following The Who's E3 appearance. Now would they please give Led Zepplin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant a call?

[UPDATE] Well that was quick. Citing "several people familiar with the matter" the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is now reporting that "The Beatles have licensed songs to MTV Networks' Rock Band videogame series." The article offers no further details on which songs will be licensed or whether they will be available as downloadable content, a boxed product like the AC/DC Track Pack, or as a stand-alone game a la Guitar Hero: Metallica.

[UPDATE 2] A follow-up e-mail to the conference call describes the Apple Corps/MTV agreement as "exclusive." So much for Guitar Hero: Beatles Edition...

[UPDATE 3] Ok, it's official--the Beatles will be in an all-new game from Harmonix that won't bear the Rock Band name but will feature new types of gameplay. It's coming in Q4 2009 and will feature songs from all the Beatles' albums and feature elements related to their career.

Discussion

177 comments
Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

@Obscurity Dude, Led Zeppelin doesn't license their music to just anyone, there's no way they're gonna be in RB or GH, sorry

caketoo
caketoo

Theres nothing those greedy dinosaurs wont do to make a buck

finchused
finchused

Unless this game gets terrible scores (5 and below) I'll probably be purchasing this game. What can I say, I'm a sucker for some Beatles.

Dman0017
Dman0017

the whole idea seems rather lame to me, i think that they should do it as a downloadable expansion if anything

Superion74
Superion74

I just hope that I can use my RB2 instruments for this Beatles game.

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

I'll probably get this Beatles game:D

picklesrocks
picklesrocks

oh my god why cant people let the beatles die they sucked then and still do now

Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

and one more thing - Helter Skelter FTW!!!!!!

Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

The moment I played RB was when my copy of GH stopped going in my xbox. I think RB is a better game on all levels. While they're adding tons of DLC to their catalog and releasing a sequel about once a year, GH is busy making games like GH: Metallica and GH Aerosmith that'll alienate anybody in their audience who doesn't like those bands, in addition to releasing another couple sequels a year - I'm sorry, but they're spreading themselves way too thin.

solidstein
solidstein

they will just pay michael jackson royaltys for the songs he owns which could get kinda of expensive but im sure they will figure out some deal

ctg867
ctg867

I think the Beatles are an extremely influential band, but for me I don't think it's the best material for modern rhythm games. As a now Guitar Hero over Rock Band fan (it was a different story last year), I'm not all the disappointed that MTV will have exclusive rights to their music for gaming. See: the Beatles wont be in Guitar Hero.

drkcrusher
drkcrusher

im with ya obscurity, but i think you and i are loners on this one :(

AxL_2k7
AxL_2k7

If the instruments from RB and GH are compatible, this is OK.

0bscurity
0bscurity

Noooo, not the Beatles. God, please, let it be Led Zeppelin or something. As much as I love the Beatles and Rock Band the last thing I want to hear is: "So how many points can you get on Rocky Raccoon on expert?!"

jazilla
jazilla

There just isn't a bad song on their last 4 albums. you could literally release Revolver, Sgt. Pepper LHCB, The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be in their entirety. This is awesome news.

CodingGenius
CodingGenius moderator

Holy cow, this is INCREDIBLE! If people don't like them, that's fine, but this will be a great gateway to get people of all generations into Rock Band! Yee haw! I've already had one friend volunteer to sing who otherwise wasn't interested. She knows a lot of the other songs, it just wasn't her thing.

Eko_Eko_Azarak
Eko_Eko_Azarak

Wow. This is big for Rock Band. I like the new Guitar Hero much better than Rock Band, but it looks like I might have to get this if it comes out...

black_ice23
black_ice23

@mylsd yeah Michael Jackson does own alot of them but not alot of them but he did sell some but not all but he still has majority, well at the time, I heard sony BMG Music was gonna buy them, but they probablly gonna put on the ones he didnt buy and the ones he sold

Timstuff
Timstuff

I guess that having a giant evil media conglomerate backing your project can come in handy sometimes. As much as I hate Viacom, I'm glad that they had the $$$ to get the Fab Four into Rock Band. 8)

h4xx0rz
h4xx0rz

Can't wait to see the drum part to "Come Together".

lamplan
lamplan

Wow, thanks for that insight X-RS. This is great, it is a bit newsworthy since the beets have been very reluctant to let anyone use their content. Looking forward to playing these.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

Awesome news for those who want these tracks to play, like myself.

ngboy
ngboy

proman, you're right, this won't have a huge lasting effect, but then again, nothing does these days, and that's why it's so important to keep the classics as mainstream as possible so that everyone will still know who they are for at the very least, this generation. i went to see the movie Across the Universe that came out last year which featured beatles songs, and i was surprised at how many late teens knew the beatles, but didn't know any of their songs. there are valid arguments about this game being lasting, but no one can deny that it at least keeps them relevant in today's one hit wonder generation.

X-RS
X-RS

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

luigigreen
luigigreen

I'd rather see The Beatles added to RB2. But yea, another reason the RB2 setlist is better than GHWT setlist.

mylsd
mylsd

So I always thought Michael Jackson owned the rights to all their songs, or did he sell them in the 90's when he was in financial trouble? Anywho, I one out of a billion people who doesn't like the Beatles, bunch of druggie hippies, if they never took drugs all they'd be remembered for is "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" Let the thumbs down begin!

Andrew_LL
Andrew_LL

I agree with otanikun. I really like the Beatles, but it is hard to image the songs translating well into the game (besides a small amount). Still awesome though.

remygambit2365
remygambit2365

I like the Beatles but I question how much fun it'll be to play them on RB.

MonkeyWrench127
MonkeyWrench127

Fantastic news, and a truly massive blow to the Guitar Hero camp. The Beatles are officially the best band out there so expect news of Rock Band: The Beatles soon...

otanikun
otanikun

Wasn't this already released as news before RB2 came out? Either way I'm a little wary of the Beatles being released as playable tracks, most influential band yes but songs people want to play is another thing. I've listened to my fair share of the Beatles, but the only song I really see remotely making it and I'm sure I'm wrong, is Helter Skelter.

aBathingApe_
aBathingApe_

I love Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but this is great news. Definitely looking forward to this. My bets are on a track pack though guys. They did it with ACDC and I don't see it changing with the Beatles. More than likely it will be $40, 360/PS3/Wii, and $10 less for PS2. But hell, what do I know?

Stavr0s
Stavr0s

Another blow to GHWT, I suppose.

WiiNut6493
WiiNut6493

Paperback writer!!! that song is cool.

cousin_eddy
cousin_eddy

This is excellant news..but there are still so many bands I'm holding out for..still, great news :D long live the Beatles!

playwrite
playwrite

No Joy Division though huh? that would be 70 billion times cooler. Now that I think of it, there aren't all that many beatles songs that I want in Rock Band. I guess we'll have to wait and see what they do with it.

Fanible
Fanible

*sigh* Such awesome news, but at the same time, you KNOW they're going to release these songs in a separate store-sold package, like with AC/DC. They stand to make FAR more money that way, than simply releasing them on DLC.

BendikB
BendikB

*BEEP* Omg, I haven't decided wheter to buy Rock Band or Guitar Hero yet, but if this comes true: So long to Guitar Hero. It doesn't matter how many cymbals you have on the drum-kit or whatever, The Beatles is the greatest band of all time. No questions asked. Now all we are missing is U2, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen. *Fingers crossed*

gunslingerNZ
gunslingerNZ

I have to admit floyd and zeppelin could still sway me though if GH got those to back up Hendrix that would be one sweet lineup.

SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

Uhh-buh-buh-buh-Uhh-buh *mouth continues to flop in astonishment*

BR0M
BR0M

Rock Band > you

Land-0-Funk
Land-0-Funk

Now you have to watch those stupid RB characters sing the Beatles..but oh well..it'll be nice to do the singing part for a change.

colebob
colebob

Oh thank goodness. It's about time. I can hardly even wait now. Definately a good idea to be on Rock Band rather than Guitar Hero. Personally I'd have liked to have seen their own game, but I'll take the songs any way I can.

lewser5
lewser5

Well if Metallica can cave in to Guitar Hero, then why not the Beatles to Rock Band. Most likely they will get a track pack 1st, then their own game.

lamprey263
lamprey263

that's a smart very smart move, not to mention just effing cool, I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner, they're going to be rolling in the dough

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Dude, Rock Band is just getting better and better all the time.

Proman84
Proman84

ngboy, I see your point but I disagree that games like this will have lasting effects on the band's popularity. Not this game. Especially not know when pretty much everyone knows them anyway. I'm not even against the whole idea of using their music via today's technology. I just know that the only driving force behind this project is not very creative.

Evilmaster101
Evilmaster101

I hope this is true, The Beatles are my favorite band of all time! Now all they're missing is Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, and U2. Get to it Harmonix!