Beatles songs to return to stage in new video game

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

London (UK) – Apple Corps is not quite ready to release the song catalog of The Beatles as digital downloads as we had hoped for yesterday, but announced a significant step into this direction nevertheless: MTV and Rock Band developer Harmonix are working on a new music video game title that intends to leverage “the entire span” of Beatles songs ranging from the first album Please, Please me, released in 1963, to Abbey Road, released in 1969.

There was speculation that the popular Harmonix-developed Rock Band series may extend to The Beatles, but MTV was quick to point out that the cooperation with Apple Corps and Harmonix will result in a completely new, unrelated title that is slated for late 2009.

MTV and Harmonix did not release any significant details about the game, as they did “not want to talk about a game that could look entirely different in a year from now.” However, Harmonix confirmed that the development has begun; discussions with Apple Corps about using The Beatles catalog started 17 months ago.

As only major “details” released, the company said that the game will use “immersive” graphics that will allow the gamer to “explore” The Beatles from the very beginning in an “interactive music making game”. Harmonix “intends” to use the complete music catalog, but did not confirm that all songs will actually be included in what it describes will be a “new dimension how to experience music.” While this title will receive exclusive Beatles music rights, the companies left the door open for a possible extension to Rock Band: While they did not confirm such a move, they did not deny it either and simply stated that they “are not ready to discuss such a move yet.”  

MTV and Harmonix declined to comment on gameplay, graphics as well as hardware during a conference call with journalists.

During the conference call, Apple Corps chief executive Jeff Jones was also asked whether this is a first step to make The Beatles’ music available for digital download. And according to Jones, there is now news on this topic yet: “We are working on the details,” he said.