MTV devotes $500 million to games

Music network and Rock Band publisher cranking up gaming budget over next two years.


Rock Band

MTV Networks and parent company Viacom have been serious about games for some time now. Last year Viacom purchased Xfire for $102 million and MTV acquired Guitar Hero developer Harmonix for $175 million.

It seems the company was just warming up, as Reuters is reporting today that MTV plans to invest "well over $500 million" in its game business over the next two years. According to the news service, the money is part of an effort to make games a core part of the company's programming plans, rather than an afterthought tacked on to the existing array of shows.

"I'd like to see more game applications on some of our current big brands across the music group," MTV chairman and chief executive officer Judy McGrath told Reuters.

The music network has made mobile gaming deals recently, and Viacom's Neopets brand has its own gaming presence, but the biggest generator of buzz for MTV's gaming initiative so far has been Harmonix's forthcoming Rock Band. According to Reuters, the network is looking for ways to tie the game in to its existing TV and online outlets, but is concerned about brazen marketing tie-ins turning off players.

"It's hard to tell where it's going to go," said MTV Networks president of global digital media Mika Salmi. "It's in the consumers' hands to take it to the next level."

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

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