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Beatles strike video game deal ahead of iTunes distribution

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Negotiations to bring the music of the Beatles to iTunes or any other digital download service appear to have taken a back seat to a landmark deal that will see the legendary rock band's catalog form the foundation of a new video game from the makers of Rock Band.

The triangular pact announced Thursday morning has record label Apple Corps licensing the band's vast music collection for an interactive video game that will be developed by Harmonix, creators of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero titles, and published by MTV Games.

When it hits the market ahead of the 2009 holiday shopping season, the title will offer an "unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles," according to the three companies, who declined to offer additional details.

Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, have each given the project their blessing and are collectively providing creative feedback on the game. Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles LOVE project, will serve as the project's music producer.

"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, widow of the late Beatles guitarist and song writer, George Harrison. "If you like the music, it doesn't take much persuasion to get you to play."

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

Although the game will draw upon the underlying principles and technology of Harmonix's ever-popular Rock Band title, it will be released as a brand new offering and won't share the Rock Band brand.

During a conference call covering the game's announcement Thursday morning, Apple Corps chief executive Jeff Jones was repeatedly pressed for an update on digital distribution of the Beatles' catalog through download services like iTunes, which he deferred to the end of the call.

The Beatles remain one highest profile hold-outs on the digital music scene but have been rumored (1, 2, 3) to be in negotiations regarding iTunes distribution ever since Apple and Apple Corps ended their bitter, three-decade old trademark dispute early last year.

The most recent report on the matter suggested that remastered versions of the Beatles' catalog were unlikely to crop up on iTunes until sometime in 2009, though similar claims were being made about 2008 a year earlier. Even then, they won't be exclusive to the Apple download service, an Apple Corps official said last year.

At the end of Thursday's conference call, Jones returned to the subject of digital distribution but provided no new color on the situation. "All I can say is that we're still working out the details, we have no announcement to make, no date or any information," he said.

In June, AppleInsider reported (on its blogs) rumors that the Beatles' first digital music releases would arrive through video games rather than direct downloads.
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"All I can say is that we're still working out the details, we have no announcement to make, no date or any information," he said.

Fine... While you're still working out the details, we'll be downloading your music illegally and probably will never need to buy your records anymore, ever!
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post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Fine... While you're still working out the details, we'll be downloading your music illegally and probably will never need to buy your records anymore, ever!

It's borderline ridiculous at this point, I agree, but piracy really isn't the answer =P

K
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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post #4 of 27
I'm still surprised how big the market for these games is. It's an industry worth $1.2bil a year. For comparison, the whole of iTunes is only worth $2bil!
post #5 of 27
As timeless as the Beatles are, they still better hurry. They are in danger of losing their potential audience. The prime music buying demographic is approaching the age where they have no idea who the Beatles are.

TechnoMinds

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TechnoMinds

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post #6 of 27
I'll definitely be buying this; especially if there's a Monkees expansion disc in 2010.
post #7 of 27
I feel sorry for the self-confessed Beatles fanatic- Steve Jobs. I guess he won't enter a stage anymore to "Revolution".
I guess that's payback for stealing their name.
post #8 of 27
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Rock Band.
post #9 of 27
The revenge of Yoko!
post #10 of 27
This is pretty shocking. It would be nice to fill in some holes in my Beatles collection. My two-year-old loves singing Beatles stuff.

Where's that Sergeant Peppers branded iPod Classic?
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

As timeless as the Beatles are, they still better hurry. They are in danger of losing their potential audience. The prime music buying demographic is approaching the age where they have no idea who the Beatles are.

That could be why they are waiting. That younger demographic doesn't already own
every single Beatles track, like most of us old geezers.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Where's that Sergeant Peppers branded iPod Classic?

Same place as that Monkees Zune.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

It's borderline ridiculous at this point, I agree, but piracy really isn't the answer =P

K

All we are saying is... give piracy a chance.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

As timeless as the Beatles are, they still better hurry. They are in danger of losing their potential audience. The prime music buying demographic is approaching the age where they have no idea who the Beatles are.

Bah who cares. If someone really wants The Beatles in digital format, just buy the CDs and rip them to MP3s or AAC or whatever using iTunes or whichever ripping program you prefer.

Problem solved.
post #15 of 27
You've gotta give to the Beatles. They manage to convince people of this free-lovin' peaceniks but in reality they are run-amuck Capitalists to the nth degree. The group makes more per year in revenues than most groups in their prime do. Not bad for a group done over 30 years past.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Bah who cares. If someone really wants The Beatles in digital format, just buy the CDs and rip them to MP3s or AAC or whatever using iTunes or whichever ripping program you prefer.

Problem solved.

It's not what we want- it's what Steve wants -and he wants to sell you the Magical Mystery tour.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You've gotta give to the Beatles. They manage to convince people of this free-lovin' peaceniks but in reality they are run-amuck Capitalists to the nth degree. The group makes more per year in revenues than most groups in their prime do. Not bad for a group done over 30 years past.

Hey- they're not the only ones around here who've convinced people that they're not in it for the money.
post #18 of 27
I don’t doubt for a second that the Beatles want to make money; but nevertheless, they could have easily dumped their 1987 CD masters into digital channels years ago and made money hand over fist. I find it admirable that they are waiting until their newly remastered catalog is ready for release to sell it digitally. That way, none of those prime music buying demographic kids will feel cheated when an almost identical (yet superior) product is offered to them within a such a short period of time.

As for the prospect of purchasing those remasters digitally… if they are going to be worth buying, they are going to offer some kind of high definition option, such as SACD or DVD audio, and the packaging is going to far outclass the original CDs. Assuming this is the case, why on Earth would I consider purchasing a low quality digital version of said remasters (and -- best case scenario -- a PDF of the cover art) for close to the same price?
post #19 of 27
Hear yea hear yea... Beatles songs for free at MP3.com
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post #20 of 27
Keep it.

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The triangular pact announced Thursday morning has record label Apple Corps licensing the band's vast music collection for an interactive video game that will be developed by Harrisongs, creators of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero titles, and published by MTV Games.


The developer of Rock Band & Guitar Hero is Harmonix, not Harrisongs. Harrisongs is the publishing company that late Beatle George Harrison started in 1968; that company has nothing to do with game development.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

It's borderline ridiculous at this point, I agree, but piracy really isn't the answer =P

K

While piracy may not be the answer, it certainly will be a consequence.

Thompson
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Bah who cares. If someone really wants The Beatles in digital format, just buy the CDs and rip them to MP3s or AAC or whatever using iTunes or whichever ripping program you prefer.

Problem solved.

A lot of people these days don't want to pay for a complete album of songs... even if that album is chock full of Beatles classics. These folks will want a la carte versions and will get them by ripping friends' CDs or by PSP methods (i.e. piracy). So... no... problem not solved.

Thompson
post #24 of 27
It a good move by Apple Studios. By introducing Beatles music into a video game (and a popular one at that) that is mainly play by the younger generation, there'll be a more likely chance that they will buy Beatles music when it does finally come out online. Right now, it's mainly the older music listeners among us that is waiting to buy the re-mastered Beatles music online. First expose the younger generation to their music by way of a video game and then release the Beatle music online. This way there'll be a greater audience interested in buying the music when it's first released.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

A lot of people these days don't want to pay for a complete album of songs... even if that album is chock full of Beatles classics. These folks will want a la carte versions and will get them by ripping friends' CDs or by PSP methods (i.e. piracy). So... no... problem not solved.

Thompson

The Beatles are a bit different. Their Albums are meant to be looked at as a whole. Sure single songs will work, but nothing is the same as listening to the whole White Album.

Oh and:
Yes, I would travel Across The Universe to allow my family and friends to Come Together over the game.

I would even go Back To The USSR.

I hope they are also making this game for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.

Even though it may cost a lot, what good is Money since It Can't Buy Me Love.

Once the doors open for this game, the sellers will say, "Come and Get It."

You know when push comes to shove, I would Drive My Car Eight Days A Week to buy it.

I feel like A Fool On The Hill over this news.

When I do Get Back with the game, I'll tell my GF it's From Me To You

I really hope it Don't Let Me Down.

I left pleanty of other songs out there for you. And I feel like I just wrote one of those notes at the end of a SPAM message.
MacBook Pro 15inch, 2.5 Ghz, 2Gb (soon to be 4)
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iPod Video 5g 30Gb
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MacBook Pro 15inch, 2.5 Ghz, 2Gb (soon to be 4)
iPod Touch - 16gb
iPod Video 5g 30Gb
Bunch of Apple Accessories
Reply
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

It a good move by Apple Studios. By introducing Beatles music into a video game (and a popular one at that) that is mainly play by the younger generation, there'll be a more likely chance that they will buy Beatles music when it does finally come out online. Right now, it's mainly the older music listeners among us that is waiting to buy the re-mastered Beatles music online. First expose the younger generation to their music by way of a video game and then release the Beatle music online. This way there'll be a greater audience interested in buying the music when it's first released.

No it's not.
In fact, one has nothing to do with the other.
They could've released this stuff a long time ago.
Doing it for the game is NOT some master genious plan of capturing the hearts and minds of teenagers.
It's a game.
They will make money on it.
Enough that they will do it.
These people are just not that smart, to think about a plan of withholding their releases and then a video game gives them the path to do it is just wrong.

We'll see a Beatles album set online for 99 bucks a piece when someone finally agrees to it.
Until then, you can buy your Beatles one performer at a time and pirate the band.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Until then, you can buy your Beatles one performer at a time and pirate the band.

In fairness, one should consider that they may very well recognize this, and not care. All youre really saying is that they could make more money if they released their stuff online. If that was all they cared about, I am sure their stuff would have showed up on iTunes years ago.
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