Nov 1, 2008

Entertainment - MTV cuts deal to use Beatles songs in video game

MTV Networks announced a deal Thursday to use songs by the Beatles in a custom video game similar to its popular "Rock Band" games, the first major appearance of the defunct band's songs in the digital arena.

There is no set sale price for the game, which is scheduled to be released worldwide in about a year, said MTV Networks and Apple Corps, the company that handles the Beatles' commercial interests.

The companies released few details about the game, which will be a custom video game and not a "Rock Band" game, saying that the interactive music game was still in development.

"Rock Band" was developed by Harmonix, which is owned by Viacom, and published by Electronic Arts. It competes against "Guitar Hero," which is made by Activision Blizzard and lets fans play plastic guitars along with music on television screens.

Jeff Jones, chief executive of Apple Corps, said the new game would use music from the Beatles' entire career.

MTV Networks, which is also owned by Viacom, said the game was conceived with the creative input of the former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and by the wives the two Beatles who have died, Yoko Ono Lennon, the wife of John Lennon, and Olivia Harrison, the wife of George Harrison.

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

Starr said the Beatles' legacy "will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in. Let the games commence."

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