Rock Band, Guitar Hero Publishers Vying for Beatles Licensing Agreement

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Publishers Activision and MTV Games are courting representatives of the Beatles to license the wildly popular band's catalog for use in their respective rhythm franchises Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the Financial Times reports.

According to the report, both publishers have held discussions with representatives of the band concerning a "Beatles-themed video game."

It was not immediately clear whether the companies seek to license the music as downloadable content for existing titles or for a completely new Beatles-focused game, similar to Neversoft's Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (PS2, PS3, Wii, 360).

Any licensing agreements for the Beatles' catalog would first have to be cleared by Apple Corps, a multimedia corporation established by the band to oversee its business interests, as well as the music group EMI, which owns the Beatles' master recordings.

Both Apple Corps and EMI have previously expressed hesitance to bring the band's music to digital formats and digital distribution platforms, such as the iTunes music store.

While Activision declined to comment on the discussions, MTV Games told the Financial Times that it was "talking to virtually every major rock artist all the time about ways we might get them involved in Rock Band."

Developed by Harmonix, the multi-instrument rhythm title Rock Band (PS2, PS3, Wii, 360) hit retailers late last year, with a Wii version out today. Neversoft plans to follow Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PC, PS2, PS3, 360, Wii) with Guitar Hero World Tour, a new edition which will also sport multiple instruments.

Big thanks to Tyler for the tip.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 22, 2008 8:16 PM

    Just as a comment, it's been reported that Aerosmith is locked to the GH series with their licensing deal. This will likely be the same thing for whichever franchise gets it. (which sucks... it's starting to get expensive to follow both).

    • reply
      June 22, 2008 8:20 PM

      There's been no exclusivity announcement from Metallica, and there's already more stuff for them in the pipeline.

    • reply
      June 23, 2008 2:28 AM

      Who gives a fuck. Aerosmith sucks balls!

      ;)