Just who is this Beatles game for?
That's the question that's been running through my brain ever since news of the announcement that Harmonix and Apple Corps Ltd would be combining efforts on a Beatles-themed project came to light. Several outlets were reporting at the outset that the game would be a dedicated Rock Band expansion devoted to the Fab Four but that turned out not to be the case. Instead, we'll have a "full, new music game built from the ground up," according to Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopolous.
The licensing of The Beatles' music has had a... ahem... long and winding road; these days, the vast majority of the group's catalog is owned by Sony and Michael Jackson (the King of Pop purchased the publishing rights to around 200 songs in 1985), with royalties still being paid out to John Lennon's estate and to Paul McCartney. In 2006, the Cirque du Soleil production, "Love", was unveiled in Las Vegas, which combined some of the group's most famous songs with the visual wizardry of the long-running show company.
So, Apple Corps Ltd's long-standing dispute with Apple over licensing of the music to the latter's iTunes service notwithstanding, the company has been willing to extend use the Beatles' music, as long as it's in the right context. But what does that mean for Harmonix's just-announced game?
To me, it comes back to my original question: Who is the intended audience? While I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who actively dislikes The Beatles, I'm not sure if they are as relevant to the hardcore game-buying demographic as they might have been, say, ten years ago. I consider myself a moderate fan of the group--they lost me somewhere around The Yellow Submarine--but I have a hard time believing that the typical 18 year-old as totally psyched about this announcement as, say, your typical 48 year-old.
But, then, what 48 year-old is going to play (much less buy) a game like this, unless Harmonix radically simplifies the gameplay? Rigopolous has stated that this game will use Rock Band instruments but, as it stands now, further details are few and far between. I can only imagine the look of bewilderment my mom or dad would have if I sat them down in front of a set of Rock Band drums and told them to hold it down for me while I rocked some Rush. And it's tough to see how a Beatles game that uses the pricey Rock Band peripherals could be considered casual enough to draw in tons of new fans, Lennon and McCartney be damned.
So I'm left puzzled. If the Beatles game is a dumbed down Rock Band experience aimed at a casual crowd, it will likely turn off the hardcore Rock Band fans, a good chunk of whom won't have much of a connection to the music in the first place. And while the older set might relish in a perfectly marketed casual gaming chunk of 60's nostalgia for Xbox 360 and PS3, can it really be called "casual" if you've got to spend a bunch of cash for the accessories you need to play it?
Rigopolous has already stated the game will use explore the Beatles iconic psychedelic imagery--such as that found in the film The Yellow Submarine. My best bet? The Beatles game will be a sort of gaming equivalent to director Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe, a re-imagining/visual exploration of the Beatles catalog. I imagine the musical gameplay aspects (i.e. playing along with Beatles tunes) will be either entirely optional or, perhaps more likely, will give the player multiple options for interaction (everything from straight karaoke, to playing along with Rock Band instruments, or following note patterns with a standard controller). Ensuring a large (and customizable) spectrum of interaction seems like a must-have feature when dealing with what could potentially be one of the widest demographic spreads we've ever seen in a videogame.
So what do you think? Are you excited about the Harmonix/Beatles game? Do you think a Beatles game with Rock Band-esque gameplay can be a hit with both young and old gamers? What does this game need to do in order to be a gameplay success?
For me!! The freak 20 year old who happens to really enjoy their work. Its even more exciting because I wasn't around when everything was fresh. Now I too get to enjoy a new Beatles experience. Sure, it might not be a new album, but its a fresh way for me to connect with something that I enjoy but never got to experience first-hand. Your points are valid, though I wish you would say them a little bit quieter, lest they change their minds and join the Duke Nukem 3D entourage...
I've gotta agree with some of the other comments. I'm 39 and a huge Beatles and Guitar Hero / Rock Band fan. The Beatles made some truly timeless music and I think they'll not only find an audience among existing GH / RB players, but it'll sell quite a few units too. You saw how much mainstream press it got when the announcement was made and the hype will just continue to build as it nears release.
I think children of parents who loved the Beatles and have shared there love with there kids are the most likely suspects to love this game. And I hope Harmonix dosen't make it another RockBand.
The beatles are for all ages, those new listeners to fans from the sixties. A rockband on them would be pretty cool. A couple option would be to 1. be a download or addition to rocband two through the internet for ps3, 360, and wii. 2. just like guitar hero aerosmith do a game with mostly beatles but with other songs too. 3. release the game by itself without instruments for a reduced price 4. relaese it just like rockband 1 and 2
I think the article writer jumped in to a conclusion very fast. It is very wrong to assume that only people from 70s or 60s are beatle fans. After the release of Anthology, Beatles 1 and recently the Love album, Beatlemania has resurfaced and everyday youngsters around the world are becoming fans of the greatest band ever. But again, I believe the developers should consider PC gamers more, because people around their 30s are a very good market for this game, and many of them aren't console gamers.
This is made for me! I am some 18 year old kid that LOVES the beatles. I have never in my entire life, met someone that hates the beatles. Most of us little peoples don't LOVE them but not everyone hates them like you may think.
People who are already gamers and are in their 40's or over and have a decent sense of rhythm will lap this up. Other people, here and there, will be interested. Me, I already own Rock Band so I see no need to buy a clone of it, not for The Beatles anyway. As a band, they're not all bad, but I'm kind of sick of hearing their songs...she loves you yeah yeah yeah loves you yeah yeah yeah yeah etc...
[QUOTE]'wonderboy_46 Posted Nov 1, 2008 6:50 am AEST It'll be a huge hit with the 30-40 demographic and bring a lot of people into music games who haven't previously been interested. You just need to look at the news story comments to see that. The hardcore thrash-metal dudes playing Guitar Hero and perfecting songs on expert won't be interested.' I'm in that 30 - 40 yr old demographic, love thrash metal and have completed several songs on guitar hero on expert and you know what? I'll be one of the first to buy this game. So, what the hell are you talking about?
You do realise the average age of gamers worldwide is around 30 yrs old, don't you? That's just the average! Plenty of people will pick up this game. Myself included. Have you not noticed how game content has become more and more mature over the years? Gaming is more for adults than kids and us 'older' gamers are the money earners in this world. Kids can't afford games, therefore developers make games for adults who can afford them.
I'm 17 years old and The Beatles are my favorite band, and i consider my self to be a hard core gamer but i do not really care for these constant Guitar Hero or Rock Band games so i guess i'm not really part of this 'demographic' problem you have with this title but i do think theres allot more people out there that would like this game then you. For one reason The Beatles, like you said "I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who actively dislikes The Beatles" and i think the same thing about the Guitar Hero or Rock Band demographic.
The Beatles are my favorite band ever, and I'm sure tons of gamers between the ages of 18-30 like them just as much and will get this game. The Beatles are a band that everyone knows and can like, and they have a huge fan base which is the demographic for this game.
I'd rather prefer some Beatles pack DLC... I wanna hold your hand / yesterday / i am the walrus / strawberry fields forever / come together price: 500-600 points... and they'll make me happy
I'm beyond excited for this - I've wanted a Beatles track in Guitar Hero since the beginning of the series. I think a lot of people, young and old, will be looking forward to this.
i am totally excited for a beatles game. i have a real disdain for the guitar hero and rockband games because i never found the music compelling (even with the ac/dc,aerosmith,metallica packs), or do i think its all that innovative compared to the million japanese arcade rythm games thats already out there. BUT BEATLES MUSIC i'm soo stoked. i'm willing to pick up the peripheral set just for that.
This game is for me. Avid Guitar Hero & Rock Band player (the kind that not only tries to 5 star every song on expert but also loves to sing along with other friends playing) and huge Beatles fan. I think you might underestimating the popularity of the Beatles with younger people. I am 20 and I can think of at least five other friends who love the Beatles (they don't just wear the shirts, they have all their albums) and like to occasionally play rock band. The demographic for this game is smaller than rock band or guitar hero but there always those looking for a new game and a new way to listen to the Beatles. I hope they don't dumb the game down, I don't see how they can anymore, there's already a no-fail mode!
This is The Beatles being the Beatles. Apple Corps has always wanted The Beatles to be seen as something special. You will never find a Beatles song on a multi-band compilation album, and the group is hesitant about allowing others to cover its songs and releasing music on new media--and when it finally releases music on new media, it makes sure that everyone knows about it. The upcoming Beatles game is probably the latest example of this. My guess is that this started as MTV Games negotiating with Apple Corps to license Beatles songs for Rock Band. Apple Corps likely balked at the proposal, and eventually the two sides probably agreed to a Beatles-specific video game instead. Apple Corps is aiming too high, in my opinion. Beatlemania (and nostalgia for it) is long past its prime, and most hard core Beatles fans are too old for video games. I think that it and MTV Games would be better served by adding Beatles songs to Rock Band (possibly at premium prices and perhaps along with some Beatles-themed arenas and pre-created in-game characters, instruments and fashion accessories) and constantly promoting that The Beatles are now part of Rock Band until we are as sick of those promotions as we are of the Frank TV promotions.
I'm under 50, so the Beatles formed no part of the musical tapestry of my life. I assumed this release, in common with the Anthology release and the resolution of the Apple v. Apple argument, were to benefit Paul McCartney and Yoko One in their dotage. He needs the cash...
Who is the Beatles game for? My mom. She liked Guitar Hero when I showed it to her years ago but she didn't like the songs. I assume this will be a hit for most "Gamer Parents".
Ringo Star I'd guess. Im sure that offbeat hippy wishes he was back in his twenties every morning he wakes up. No I see what you mean. It looks like another punt into unventured territory in the same way as WiiFit was for chubby-mums. Though I really dont think Beatles fans are passionate enough to take the bait.
I absolutely love the Beatles and I am 20. They are an amazing band and I am totally picking up the game
I actually cannot wait to get my hands on this game myself. I'm a huge and avid Beatles fan and it's about time their music was featured in a video game. I'd take The Beatles over Paramore and Avenged Sevenfold any day.
I suppose I'd be hardcore. Quite frankly, the most of the Beatles songs would probably be too easy (at least on guitar) to entertain me.
I think it's cool. Having to play the "Godfathers of Music" songs is good for a change. In order to make this game a success, they should have story mode in them which lets fans and newcomers learn how the Beatles saga really began. We'd have the first songs they ever composed and played them to places where they had their first gig. From then on, players will progress to newer songs, proceed to newer timeline and will play on in a chronological order.
I can't see why the gameplay should be dumped down. Rock Band is already a game anyone can pick up and play, at least anyone interested in playing video games. There are plenty of Beatles fans in their twenties, including me.
I can see your point, but I am interested in a Beatles orientated Rock Band game myself, and I am a 19 year old. I don't know how well the music will translate into the game, but I am definitely willing to give it a chance. I will keep my eye on this one :)
Who is it for? Myself and the other legions, both young and old, who are totally and hopelessly addicted to The Beatles, and will eagerly devour anything that is released under their name. They are afterall, the greatest band ever. :P It is important not to doubt the power of Beatles enthusiasts.
It'll be a huge hit with the 30-40 demographic and bring a lot of people into music games who haven't previously been interested. You just need to look at the news story comments to see that. The hardcore thrash-metal dudes playing Guitar Hero and perfecting songs on expert won't be interested.
It's for me, and I'm hardcore and 30. Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been two of the most successful casual crossover products of the past few years, so I don't see any problem with older, less hardcore gamers picking it up to play songs they love. I think a straight Rock Band-style release would work very well, could easily be produced in the presumably narrow development window, and would have widespread appeal. It also has other non-tangible benefits for EA and Harmonix, like the prestige of trumping Guitar Hero to snag the biggest rock band that ever was for their music game.