Beatles: Rock Band sales beating forecast - Viacom

MTV Games and Harmonix's Fab Four-only rhythm game sells 25% of inventory in first week; special edition package gone by November; song downloads hit 60 million.

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As part of its second-quarter financial report in July, Viacom bemoaned the slumping sales of its MTV Games and Harmonix's Rock Band franchise, saying contribution from its Media Networks division was down some 40 percent. However, it looks like not even that sliding interest can dampen the popularity of The Beatles.

They want you, yeah, yeah, yeah.
They want you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference this week, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said that MTV Games and Harmonix's The Beatles: Rock Band has been shifting units faster than even its own internal expectations.

"In the first week, we've sold about 25 percent of our inventory, and we've had tremendous excitement around this game," Dauman said to the congregated investors and analysts. "It's selling well across all platforms, Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. And, in fact, the pricing change that was made on PlayStation has helped sales on that platform."

According to Dauman, the $249.99 special limited-edition hardware bundle, which includes an all-new drum set, guitar, and microphone modeled after the Beatles' own instruments, has also seen strong sales. Viacom expects to be sold out of the package by November.

Dauman went on to note that Viacom expects the game to continue its strong start, thanks to ample promotion across its own networks, as well as the release of remastered versions of The Beatles' previous albums. "There's going to be promotion for the next several months, and as we go into the holidays, it'll be great," he said. He also stated that there have been more than 60 million paid song downloads across the Rock Band platform to date.

For more on The Beatles: Rock Band, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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