If you’re a fan of music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero and/or the Beatles, then you’ll want to listen up: MTV Games, record label Apple Corp., and Harmonix (the developers of Rock Band for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3) have announced that they’re working on a brand new music game that will celebrate the classic music of the Fab Four.
Many important details of the game, such as its title and which video game systems it’ll be available for, are still under wraps. MTV also didn’t share any information about which specific songs were going to be included in the game’s soundtrack, but in a press conference earlier today Harmonix CEO and Co-Founder Alex Rigopulos said that the songs would span the Beatles’ entire catalogue, from their first album Please Please Me to their masterpiece swansong Abbey Road.
Rigopulos also said that the guitar and drum controllers for Rock Band would be compatible with the Beatles game too.
"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," said Rigopulos. "This game will be a celebration of the Beatles undeniable legacy."
The result of 17 months of discussions between Harmonix and Apple Corp., the game will mark the first time that the music of the Beatles is featured in an interactive format.
The game was created with input from the two surviving Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono, wife of the late John Lennon, and Olivia Harrison, wife of the late George Harrison. The music producer on the game will be none other than Giles Martin, who is the son of the Beatles’ legendary producer George Martin and the co-producer of LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil show based on Beatles music.
"The partnership we announced today is our boldest move yet," said Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. "It’s a thrilling day for us. Forty years ago Apple Corp., John, Paul, George and Ringo, showed us that music could change the world. They showed us it was possible to be in the music business without making the business more important than the music. At MTV and Harmonix we inspire to live up to their example."
"Speaking personally, which is how we all feel about the Beatles," McGrath added, "I know every song. And with all respect to Yoko, I wrote ‘Mrs. John Lennon,’ and ‘Mrs. Judy Lennon’ in all my school books."
Music games are a unique kind of video game that lets people play along to songs by tapping the controller in the correct rhythm to match the symbols that are scrolling across the screen. Harmonix, who pioneered the genre in North America, operates under the philosophy that music games serve the noble purpose of bringing the joy of making music to everyone, even if they don’t know how to actually play an instrument.
Hopefully this new game will provide the means for gamers to get a little taste of what it was like to be in the most successful pop band in history.
Read for the bad news? You’ll have to wait at least a year to play the game, since it’s schedule to come out near the end of 2009. Based on Harmonix’s track record, though, it’ll be well worth the wait.