Beatles music to feature in forthcoming video game

A forthcoming as-yet-untitled video game is to feature songs by The Beatles, as a result of a deal between Apple Corps Ltd and Viacom’s MTV Networks, makers of the popular Rock Band game.

Details of which Beatles songs are to be included in the game are yet to be released.

Game developer Harmonix and publisher MTV Games announced that they had entered into a partnership with Apple Corps to produce an interactive game offering players “an experiential journey” through the group’s music and history, according to Alex Rigopulos, chief executive of Harmonix.

This game is not just a Rock Band song expansion pack. It’s much much more than that.

By presenting their music and artistry through the creative filter of a groundbreaking video game, we are giving legions of fans and music lovers all over the world a profound, new way to experience The Beatles. This game will be a celebration of the Beatles undeniable legacy.

Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix

Giles Martin, son of The Beatles’ producer George Martin, will act as the project’s music producer.

Apple Corps has historically been cautious in licensing The Beatles’ songs to third parties and have not yet made them available as digital downloads. The deal with MTV Networks highlights the increasingly lucrative nature of music licensing in video games.

Rock Band has recently competed with rival Activision’s Guitar Hero over the rights to use the music of major artists. Previous games have included songs by Aerosmith, Metallica, AC/DC and others.

The deal will require the approval of EMI Music, which owns the master recordings, and copyright owners Sony/ATV.

Apple Corps has become more active since Jeff Jones took over as chief executive. The company, whose board includes Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, has allowed Beatles songs to be used on the American Idol television series and in the Las Vegas show Love.

Last updated: 5 November 2008
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