Tag Archives: viacom
Thu, Feb 12, 2009 | 23:25 GMT
Viacom said this morning during its Q4 earnings call that Rock Band 2 sold close to two million units across all platforms since its September release.
As nice as these numbers sound, they were lower than Viacom was expecting.
“While we remain enthusiastic about the future franchise potential for Rock Band, the impact of a slowing economy dampened consumer purchases of videogames in the quarter, resulting in lower sales of Rock Band than we had originally hoped,” said CFO Tom Dooley.
International sales for the game were $462 million, and the Rock Band franchise as a whole has shipped over 10 million units since its November 2007 release.
Edge reports that Viacom showed an overall 69 percent drop in net earnings to $173 million for Q4, with $454 million being spent on restructuring charges.
Quarterly revenues were $4.2 billion.
Mon, Nov 03, 2008 | 16:21 GMT
Sony: Activision lost Beatles deal because “it was presented as if they were doing the music business a favor”
The Beatles game eventually went to MTV because, from the sound of it, Sony Music wasn’t going to get what it wanted. And what it wanted, probably, was money.
“It was presented as if they were doing the music business a favor,” Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier told Reuters.
“It’s true you can choose other types of music, and somewhere along the line someone’s going to do it for free for the exposure … When it comes to the Beatles, the leverage changes. We’re very happy with the terms of our arrangement with MTV.”
MTV’s understanding of what Sony was after ultimately led to a “very rich” deal.
Game’s out at the end of next year.
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 | 21:06 GMT
According to this Variety piece, only 45 Beatles tracks are to be included in the newly announced Harmonix game.
From the piece:
Game developers will be able to select 45 songs from the Beatles catalog recorded during their 1962-69 tenure within EMI for inclusion in the game.
“The game is in development,” said Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones. “We don’t want to talk about how it will turn out a year from now. We’re in the process of creating the game.”
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono Lennon have been part of the conversations regarding the design, layout and rollout of the game. Discussions, both creative and financial, between Apple Corps and MTV began 17 months ago, and the first contracts were signed about four weeks ago. The game will not be part of the “Rock Band” franchise, which will release an AC/DC edition on Tuesday.
The game’s out at the end of next year. Thanks, EvilAvatar.
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 | 20:47 GMT
Speaking to Gamespot, Rock Band lead designer Dan Teasdale given some hints at just how much work’s been involved in getting Apple Corp to an announcement stage of the newly confirmed Beatles game. Sounds as though it hasn’t been easy.
“We started the process about 17 months ago, so it’s great to finally talk about it,” he said.
Harmonix PR chap John Drake added: “We’ve been in talks with them for a very, very, long time.
“[Apple Corps CEO] Jeff Jones was saying that they respected and appreciated what Harmonix does creatively for rhythm games… being pioneers in the field, bringing the full band experience, and we, of course, are colossal fans of the Beatles so there’s not too much to think about why it’s a great deal.”
Time isn’t an issue when you’re aiming this high, said Teasdale, who appeared to be “quite pleased” at the signing.
“The Beatles are amazing,” he said. “To make it clear, this isn’t a Rock Band game, this is a new experience for the Beatles. It’s a way to experience the Beatles’ music, it’s a way to bring this to a whole new audience as well as people who are huge fans of the Beatles.
“From our end it’s amazing… The Beatles are the biggest band in the world. They’re music legends, and to be able to bring that experience to everyone is a great honour.”
The game’s out next year. More through the link.
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 | 15:26 GMT
How much does it cost to make a Beatles game? A lot. We don’t know how much MTV had to pay to be able to work on an exclusive game based on the band’s music, but it wasn’t cheap, Sony Music boss Martin Bandier, told Variety.
“There have been mutterings from artists and songwriters that they are not being offered their fair share in videogames, but the gamemakers have the leverage,” he said. “In the world of rock, there are thousands of tracks that will work, but when you get into the world of unique artists, that leverage shifts, tremendously, to the artists and songwriters.
“We signed a deal that would be considered very rich by the videogame company but fair for the artists. It will have online implications that will be enormous.”
MTV and Apple Corp announced yesterday that a rhythm action game based on the Beatles’ music will release at the end of next year.
Plenty more on Variety, there.
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 | 15:04 GMT
MTV, Apple Corps and Harmonix have just confirmed that they’re working on a brand new game involving The Beatles’ music.
Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos said the game was a “dream project”.
There’s no name on the title as yet, but the game will take players on a journey of the band’s music and has the blessing of group’s surviving members.
The firms said to “stay tuned” for updates in the coming months.
The Beatles project is an entirely new concern to Rock Band, and will be built from the ground up.
There will be a focus on strong visual imagery in the title, although there were no details on this.
Giles Martin said in the conference that much of the game’s music will be original mixes and recordings.
A date of Christmas 2009′s been mooted.
“Simply said, they are the greatest band of all time,” said MTV boss Judy McGrath. Sums it up pretty well, really.
Update: Here’s some links to other reports from the conference. You’ll get some lengthy quotes from them.
Update 2: Press release after the break.
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 | 14:08 GMT
The Beatles-MTV conference is starting now. We haven’t been invited to listen to it, because we’re scum, clearly, but keep your eyes open for news over the next half an hour.
MTV is expected to announce the inclusion of Beatles in Rock Band in the conference, as part of an “unprecedented global music project” between itself and Apple Corp.
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 | 06:59 GMT
Citing “several people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal’s claimed The Beatles have signed a deal with Viacom and MTV to have the band’s legendary music included in a Rock Band product.
MTV sent out an email last night saying an “unprecedented global music project” between itself and Apple Corp would be announced at 2.00pm UK time today.
As the WSJ puts it: “The Beatles represent the biggest prize to date in the category. Not only do they have the best-selling album catalog of any band, they haven’t yet licensed their music for sale by download services such as Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store.”
Quite. Watch for the announcement this afternoon.
Fri, Jul 11, 2008 | 09:59 BST
According to this Bloomberg report, Konami has sued EA over patent violation related to Rock Band, claiming the game violate patents filed by the firm in 2002 and 2003.
The Konami patents, relate to simulated musical instruments, a music-game system and a “musical-rhythm matching game.”
What does Konami want? Muchos money, amigo. And the other small prize of being able to block EA selling products based on the technology Konami claimed it stole.
The suit also names Harmonix Music Systems, Viacom and MTV.
More through the link.
Mon, May 05, 2008 | 07:41 BST
Viacom’s confirmed that 10 million Rock Band tracks have now been downloaded, and that more than 3 million units of the game itself have no shipped in the US.
The figures came out of first-quarter financials which showed the company’s income rose 29 percent year-on-year to $567 million for the period ending March 31. Revenues were up 15 percent to $3.1 billion.
Tue, Mar 25, 2008 | 12:14 GMT
Guitar Hero developer Harmonix has responded to Gibson’s move to sue EA over Rock Band last night, by saying, in a nutshell, that it’s not going to be taking the guitar manufacturer seriously any time soon.
“It is unfortunate that Gibson unfairly desires to share in the tremendous success enjoyed by the developers of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. This lawsuit is completely without merit and we intend to defend it vigorously,” the company said. “Gibson’s patent, filed nearly 10 years ago, required a 3D display, a real musical instrument and a recording of a concert. Rock Band and Guitar Hero are completely different: among other things they are games, require no headset and use a controller only shaped like a real instrument.”
Gibson is suing Harmonix, Viacom and EA for patent infringement over simulated musical performances. Expect this to get a whole lot nastier yet.
Fri, Feb 08, 2008 | 09:27 GMT
“Media conglomerate Viacom Inc is not in talks to buy video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, disputing reports of an offer.”
The piece continued, “Reports on the Web and a video games trade publication Web site said Viacom had offered $1.5 billion for the maker of the popular ‘Grand Theft Auto’ games franchise, citing unnamed sources. Shares of Take-Two rose as much as 12 percent on Thursday on the rumor.”
Viacom has refused to comment on the situation.
“This is very unlikely,” Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson said of the speculation. “Video games are a hot space and media companies are interested in participating in the growth, but for Viacom, they are pursuing a completely separate strategy.”
“I don’t think any of those media companies has the appetite to get into a new business,” added super-analyst Michael Pachter.
Thu, Feb 07, 2008 | 08:41 GMT
According to this, Viacom boss Sumner Redstone has expressed an interest in buying Take-Two. The author of the report goes to lengths to assure readers this is a rumour.
“Viacom wants a piece of the game publishing pie,” said the piece. “They have been buying some gaming assets over the past couple of years and recently struck an interesting deal with Microsoft that included a gaming component. Not to mention Redstone’s personal investment in Midway Games.”
The author reckons Take-Two market fortunes are about to turn, and those shorting the stock should be wary.
“By the way, I’m showing a close to 40% short interest in TTWO,” said the writer. “With buyout rumors starting to swirl, I suspect at least some of the shorts will start feeling uncomfortable.”