With the release of The Beatles: Rock Band coming up on September 9, the rhythm game that will allow you to imitate Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison will bring a lot of money to the Beatles song and likenesses right holders.
These right-holders will get at least $10 million for allowing the use of the Beatles name, songs and likenesses, according to L.A. Times. This is a only the guaranteed amount, with $30 more to come if the game sells well.
There will be 45 songs in the game, so this is one reason for the amount. Another reason is that these rights are split between multiple ventures and people. For instance, the songs “belong” to Sony/ATV Music publishing, deceased “King of Pop” Michael Jackson and two other record labels. The two record labels also hold the likenesses rights for the singers, with Apple Corps controlling the rights for Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and EMI Music holding the rights for John Lennon and George Harrison.
It is only obvious that the producers will try to squeeze every dollar out of the fans. This is why they will launch 3 versions of the game: the regular $60 version, a value edition (around $150) that will feature standard Rock Band instruments and a $250 limited edition that will feature replicas of the instruments used by the band.
We will have to wait and see if the game will be a success, at least from the producers’ point of view.
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