The Beatles Will Be A Rock Band In “Rock Band”

Oct 30th, 2008 // 16 Comments

In embargoed news that seems to be a secret to nobody, MTV Games will announce in mere minutes that it has licensed the Beatles catalog for use in the Rock Band universe. Now, I can’t wait to jam “And Your Bird Can Sing” on my little plastic guitar, but what I’m really excited for is the new mastering jobs that will most likely come with the songs’ Rock Band inclusion (think Death Magnetic). So should we expect the iTunes announcement to come down the pike within the next month or so? [MTV]


  1. Jay-C

    I’m hoping there is a “Red” and “Blue” version of the game…I have no interest in playing most of the songs before Revolver…Maybe some Rubber Soul…

  2. Lucas Jensen

    We are waiting to listen in on the conference call right now, and “Ticket to Ride” is the hold music, so, yeah, confirmed.

  3. Lucas Jensen

    Okay. It’s a brand new standalone game, which is a surprise. Smart move, though, because a standalone will make more cheddar than downloadable content. Did I just say cheddar?

  4. Lucas Jensen

    Giles Martin is the music producer, and Olivia Harrison, Yoko, Sir Paul, and Ringo are all on board. Harmonix doesn’t like doing standalone games, but they are making an exception for this “perfect confluence” of events.

    Harmonix guy Alex says it’s a dream project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  5. Lucas Jensen

    The Harmonix guy is saying it’s a brand new game that is being built from the ground up. Riiiight…so it won’t recycle any content from Rock Band? Is it going to be like the Journey arcade game? YES.

    Everybody is telling their Beatles story. Yes, we get it. They were good.

  6. Lucas Jensen

    Marketwatch asks if it’s gonna be under Rock Band name and what the release date is. NOT a Rock Band title, and a custom game dedicated to the Beatles and released for the holidays of NEXT year.

    Beatles content for Rock Band, someone asks?

    Interoperability with Rock Band is not something they are ready to talk about yet. This game will take you on a “journey” from Please Please Me to Abbey Road. It will span their entire catalog.

    Chris from Wired asks about the process of taking the master tracks and gets a non-answer.

    LA Times asks if the music is being remastered and remixed and will it be based on UK releases? It’s based on the career and the songs, not the albums as much, they say. Giles Martin says it will be adhering to the original mixes and trying to preserve the sound quality there, though one assumes that it it will be remastered.

  7. Lucas Jensen

    The visual imagery of the Beatles is a big part of this project.

    Kotaku is asking again about Rock Band and again gets shot down.

    Stephen Totilo of MTV asks if you will be able to play as the Beatles. They aren’t saying. Also, MTV and Harmonix were innovators and won out over Activision because of that and Harmonix’s dialogue and musical approach to artists. No Beatles for Guitar Hero anytime soon.

  8. Lucas Jensen

    They reiterate: this is a Beatles game first and foremost and not a Harmonix/Rock Band/MTV game. No information on new peripherals and whether it works with existing Rock Band gear and stuff. What if it’s not a music game?

    No specific platforms announced either. They shelve the iTunes question.

  9. Lucas Jensen

    Is it immersion and interaction or competition? They can’t say just yet.

    Why no Rock Band branding? They say they are forging into new creative terrain. It’s a Beatles game and a “new creative exploration and celebration of their legacy.” Uh-oh. Can’t we just have Rock Band: Beatles?

  10. Lucas Jensen

    Every single song used? “It will span their career.”

    UK release date the same as US? It will be worldwide release, though no date.

    Jeff Jones of Apple Corps says they are working on the details of the digital Beatles catalog and has no announcement regarding it. Hmmm…

  11. Marth

    I’d lay down the cash if it comes with a McCartney Hofner bass.

  12. Jay-C

    I get the feeling that after six months of development, they gonna just say “Screw it, call it Rock Band: Beatles”

  13. Jay-C

    Although there is this:

    “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.”

  14. Lucas Jensen

    @Jay-C: Agreed.

  15. Chris Molanphy

    What all this signals is that the Fabs know they hold serious cards, and they want special treatment on everything. So if they say, “We want this to be more special than Rock Band, and we can’t look like we’re following the likes of Aerosmith or AC/DC,” the MTV and Harmonix people will happily oblige.

    I’d love to be wrong about this, but this ties in neatly with my theory that the reason we still aren’t seeing Beatles music on iTunes is they’re holding out for a special deal from Jobs et al. (more money, album pricing, who knows?), and he’s not willing to set any precedents, even with them.

  16. Lucas Jensen

    @Chris Molanphy: Yeah. I think they want the whole shebang: Beatles-branded iPod with a cut of the sales, different pricing, everything. Honestly, if I were in Steve Jobs’ position I’d make this exception. This is the one exception to make.

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