Beatles game is go

Will you still need me when I'm 64-bit?

MTV and Apple Corps, the Beatles' licensing company, have put together a deal to bring the music of the Fab Four into a play-along video game.

The as-yet unnamed game will be custom-built from the ground up, rather than simply a song extension to the popular Rock Band. A worldwide release will come before Christmas next year on unspecified platforms. Whether or not the game will arrive with additional instrument controls or other technology is also unclear.

The full catalogue of the Beatles music will be available to developers. The developer of Rock Band, Harmonix, which is owned by Viacom subsidiary MTV, will enjoy an exclusive video game licensing deal for the Beatles' music.

In a nod to concerns that the Beatles' back catalogue won't cut the mustard for youngsters, Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music/Logo Group, said that the game will be the "ultimate platform for a new generation to start a love affair with The Beatles".

Jeff Jones, chief exec of Apple Corps Ltd, added that "for old hands the game offers a chance to experience the band as never before".

Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles LOVE project, will work as music producer for the upcoming game.

Music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band created sales of $1.2bn last year, comparable with music sales in 2007 of $2bn, and growing at a faster pace.

Apple Corps has not got involved in the music downloads market thus far but is engaged in negotiations to make Beatles' tracks available through Apple's iTunes store, a move made possible following the settlement of a long-standing legal action between the two firms. ®

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