The Beatles Get Standalone Music Game from Rock Band Developers

By Chris Faylor, Oct 30, 2008 7:04am PDT As expected, MTV has revealed that Rock Band developer Harmonix will create a standalone music video game based on The Beatles, produced with the full support of the renowned rock band and their families.

The studio clarified that this will not be a Rock Band-branded game, and will instead be its own release. An exact release date and platforms were not provided, but MTV expects the game to launch by holiday of 2009.

The game was creatively conceived with input from Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, and enjoys their full blessing. In addition, Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE project, will provide his expertise and serve as Music Producer for this groundbreaking Beatles project.

The title is a "full-blown custom game production from the ground up," explained Harmonix founder Alex Rigopoulos, who noted that it has been in development "for some time" and that talks began roughly 17 months ago.

When asked if Rock Band would receive tracks from The Beatles, the studio did not provide a conclusive answer one way or another. However, Rigopoulos promised the game would "take advantage of the Rock Band platform in many ways," such as compatibility with existing Rock Band peripherals.

"The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out," Sir Paul McCartney said.

"It gives me great pleasure to be part of The Beatles / Apple and Harmonix / Rock Band partnership," said Ringo Starr. "The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that The Beatles' legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in. Let the games commence."

"It's cool. I love it and hope it will keep inspiring and encouraging the young generation for many decades," said Yoko Ono Lennon.

"People are having so much fun playing Rock Band. Combined with The Beatles tracks, it is a great way to either listen or participate," said Olivia Harrison. "If you like the music, it doesn't take much persuasion to get you to play."

The tracks in the game will be based on the UK versions of The Beatles tracks, with the title including aspects of The Beatles discography from their first album "Please Please Me" to their last proper album, "Abbey Road." Specific tracks were not mentioned.

In the announcement, MTV described the game as "an unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles."

According to MTV Networks Music president Van Toffler, this marks the first time that The Beatles will be presented in an "interactive game format," with the company later noting that its game-oriented partnership with The Beatles is exclusive.

"Simply said, they are the greatest band of all time," MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath, who vowed that today's announcement would "thrill music lovers and gamers around the globe."

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