The Beatles: Rock Band could cost Viacom over $40 million

The Beatles playing in their upcoming video game.

Rythem games have hit a bit of a rut as of late. Rock Band‘s sales have gone down and rhythm games as a whole have lost money according to the latest NPD reports. "Of all genres, the music/dance genre has suffered the greatest declines this year, with nearly $390 million less revenues than the same time period last year," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

It’s that reason which makes it hard to believe just how much money Viacom will be shelling out just to have the rights to use The Beatles music in their upcoming Rock Band title. The company has paid a guaranteed $10 million in royalties and, if sales of The Beatles: Rock Band hits certain figures, could increase to $40 million or more.

"The royalty rates on this are not even comparable to anything that has been done before," said Martin Bandier, chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which holds the rights to much of The Beatles’ music.

It’s amazing to discover, considering Viacom also put up $175 million just to buy Harmonix, payed another $150 million in bonuses, and then yet another bonus that is said to have been more than $150 million again. Given the state of the industry and the still-lingering global recession, it’s certainly surprising to see Viacom spending so much.

The Beatles: Rock Band releases next Wednesday, September 9.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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