TGS News

Harmonix/MTV's Beatles Game: The Morning After
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Sunday, November 02, 2008 7:02 PM

[Updated Nov-2]

It's been roughly 23 hours and 58 minutes since the Beatles-game conference-call hosted by Apple Corps, Harmonix, and MTV. I'm still stoked. It's just completely awesome. Now that we've all had time to digest the news, here are some thoughts, facts, and musings on the Beatles game.

  • The music will cover the entire Beatles catalog. In their legendary career, The Beatles' music went from catchy pop tunes (Please Please Me) to truly transcendent albums (Abbey Road). Selections from every album will be included in the game.
  • The band's image also went through a few drastic transformations. During the call, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos said, "A visual exploration of The Beatles' history is a big part of this project." I'm a little bit scared of a visual exploration of the Let It Be period, when the band sported matted, mule-like hair.
  • Rigopolus was coy when asked if any special peripherals would be made specifically for the game. His lack of an answer left me drooling for some classic Beatles instruments. It would be brilliant if we could play this game using videogame versions of Paul McCartney's Hofner violin-bass and George Harrison's Gretsch guitar.
  • Giles Martin is serving as the game's music producer. He's the son of Sir George Martin, who produced most of The Beatles' albums. The younger Martin is an accomplished songwriter and producer as well.
  • Martin will be using the original UK recordings as the game's foundation. In yesterday's conference call he said, "We are trying to keep to, as much as possible, is for people to play the songs as though they're playing the originals -- more of a way for them to interact with what they know very well, as opposed to us remixing as we did in Love." For the uninitiated, Love is a musical that melds The Beatles' music with the visual theatrics of Cirque du Soleil.

  • Platforms were not announced at this time. Unless there's some fat exclusive waiting to happen, expect the game to be released for the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. An extremely reliable source told me that a portable version of the game is being developed as well. Given the difference in storage capacities, I suspect that means the PlayStation Portable and not the Nintendo DS.
  • This announcement has huge ramifications for the gaming business. The next, obvious step would be a Journey series. The combination of catchy pop tunes, underrated guitar playing (Neil Schon is awesome), and trippy visuals would be incredible. Okay, I'm kidding about this one, but I'd certainly buy it.
  • [Update] Variety reports that the game will have 45 songs.

Anyway, that's enough scattered thoughts on The Beatles game. Out of curiosity, which Beatles songs do you want to hear in the game? Share your thoughts! I'll kick things off with the first comment.


Posted by jboose4556 - Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:45 PM
gravy666 how is this going to be a kick in the crotch for Activision if they relesing a game for Metal Head and I am talking about Metallica not like harmonix Activision could actually get the real artist they probley going to have the same characters in this game like they did with AC/DC so people Guitar Hero: Metallica will be 10x better than this game

Posted by r_pad - Monday, November 03, 2008 7:17 PM
That's a great list! Thanks for contributing and putting in the time. I agree that 45 songs is a tough number, but I'm guessing part of that will be so MTV can charge more for downloadable content -- just a guess though.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Monday, November 03, 2008 4:22 PM
Thanks for the MJ update, r_pad. Here's my list, full of painful exclusions:

Love Me Do
I Saw Her Standing There
Please Please Me
Twist and Shout
She Loves You
It Won't Be Long
All My Loving
I Want to Hold Your Hand
A Hard Day's Night
Can't Buy Me Love (Anthology version)
No Reply
I'm a Loser
Ticket to Ride
Day Tripper
Nowhere Man
I'm Looking Through You
Paperback Writer
I'm Only Sleeping
She Said She Said
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Getting Better
All You Need Is Love
I Am the Walrus
It's All Too Much
Hey Jude
Back in the USSR
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Helter Skelter
Get Back
I've Got a Feeling
Don't Let Me Down
Across the Universe **
Let It Be
Come Together
Octopus's Garden
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Monday, November 03, 2008 11:45 AM
Man, I heard about that, and it's a drag. Only 45 songs? Out of a catalog of 217, plus the Anthology versions and recording from "Live at the BBC" (that's over 200 extra songs, takes, and live recordings), a measly 45 songs is rather sad. Give me some time to think, and I'll post my picks.

Posted by r_pad - Monday, November 03, 2008 10:38 AM
@Xero_Wing Jackson sold his rights to Sony last year.

Posted by Xero_Wing - Monday, November 03, 2008 8:11 AM
and the burn is Michael Jackson is gunna make so much bank on this game (he still owns there catalog)

Posted by ricky047 - Monday, November 03, 2008 8:06 AM
The best selling videogame of all times, folks! Right here!

Posted by mj6music - Monday, November 03, 2008 7:58 AM
Eleanor Rigby for the win!

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 10:54 PM
@ANDREtheGAMER Paul looks the best out of the four on that cover, for sure.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 10:53 PM
Haha, the Ringo point taken. But Paul has what could be the greatest beard I've ever seen.

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:51 PM
@ANDREtheGAMER Thanks for a fun debate! Though I think you're nuts for liking their Let It Be look. It was more like Let It Be...Known That We Don't Like Showering. And what the hell was with Ringo's shirt?!? It looks like Christmas wrapping paper.


Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:29 PM
Sorry for yet another post, but to clarify, I do understand that the developers would have to create in-game parts for the extra controllers, and that would add to the cost. Hence my acknowledge of the "work/money vs payoff" point. So it's not JUST extra, as I said earlier.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:16 PM
With a big exception to my "chump" remark, I wasn't taking it personal, though my posts may seem a bit angry. So, sorry about that. Just trying to get to the bottom of it, maybe because I thought you had no reasons behind your words. I get into debates like that, even if I'm being the devil's advocate. Your last post cleared it up, and I thank you for continuing this whole thing.

I do hope that you can at least imagine where I'm coming from in regards to your opinion; which up until your last post, could be seen as either dismissive or poorly explained. See you at the next Beatles story.

PS, I like their Let It Be look.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 8:52 PM
Now that's reasoning I can get behind! I should have cleared up the whole "must have", as I didn't mean it in the way I think you think I meant it. But I guess I've done that to your words as well. It was "a must" for support.

Still, having options for supporting more controllers doesn't mean that they have to come with the game. It'd just be extra, as the controller already exist. So, I still think the French horn comment doesn't hold up. Though, your other points about work/money vs payoff are very reasonable.

I don't mind different opinions, it was just the way you expressed yours. By saying accuracy doesn't matter (see your 5th bullet point at the top), that the majority not using it makes it a poor idea, and that it is along the lines of making a whole new peripheral, I thought your reasoning to be off. And that's why I've asked so many questions, because I wanted to see where your coming from.

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 8:27 PM
It's excessive in a few ways. Adding an extra guitar or microphone adds to the cost of the game. So if you're saying it's a "must have" feature then it becomes a necessity. So in that respect, I think it's excessive. Having more than four inputs for the game also adds work for the developer and the peripheral manufacturer. I don't think the work is worth the payoff, which I think would only be appreciated by a small percentage of the audience.

I think you're misconstruing the "French horn" comment. I think you'd agree that the French horn riff is one of the most distinct aspects of "Penny Lane". Should that song make the game, there would be no way for the player to recreate the riff. I believe most people would still enjoy playing the song in the game though. See what I mean? It wasn't meant as a condescending comment, but rather an example analogous to your twin-guitars idea.

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 8:27 PM
The thing I think you're missing is that while your idea is nice conceptually, it's poor in the amount of time/work/money involved in relation to the payoff.

Lastly, don't take things so personally! We just have different opinions on the matter. I've enjoyed exchanging ideas with you.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 7:18 PM
Oh, and for the dismissive/condescending thing, the French horn thing, I think understandably, bothered me. Then you started going on about the majority of people and such, as if that's reason to dismiss my opinion.

There are plenty of games with options that the majority never even touch, but I cannot think how they've hurt the game. If anything, they help the minority enjoy the game that much more, and I don't see a problem with that. What's "poor" about that idea?

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 7:04 PM
@r_pad, oh man, I didn't realize you're a feed guy... that explains some. You definitely know more than I do about the game, but that doesn't change much at all. If something doesn't matter to you, you should understand that it may matter to others. I'm a Beatles fan, not a RB or GH fan, so my idea of fun may be different than yours.

So here's my question(s), how is that excessive? Is it a near impossible thing to do? How has having options ever hurt a game? What's poor about wanting this sort of option? And I'm sure some would find it fun to harmonize with multiple microphones, so why not have the option? What's the big deal?

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 6:25 PM
@ANDREtheGAMER To answer your various questions:

It doesn't matter if having two guitars makes the game more accurate. For the majority of people, it doesn't make it a better experience or more fun. I'm not sure why you think I'm being dismissive. I think you're being excessive. To me, your idea is just as ridiculous as saying every song in Rock Bang that had harmonized vocals requires a second microphone. Sure, it would be more accurate, but it's excessive.

I'm not defending the game at all. I'm not resistant to your idea either -- I just think it's a poor idea. It wouldn't bother me at all if the game supported a second guitar. I just don't think most people would care and most people wouldn't want to buy a second guitar for this "must have" experience.

I believe I know more about the game than you do because I chatted with people at the developer, the publisher, and associated console manufacturers before I wrote this article.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 1:33 PM
@r_pad (continued)
Also, allowing for one more guitar controller is hardly the same as creating a French horn peripheral just to use it for one song. That example is ridiculous, and doesn't effect my opinion's validity at all. I said in my second post that I wasn't sure why I was offended, but I found out in my third post. It's your dismissive language. I've supported everything I've said.

It seems you are defending the game, when I'm not even attacking it. Why are you so resistant to the idea? Why do seriously doubt that they would think the same? Would it bother you if there was support for another guitar? Do you have some involvement with the game, as you think that you probably know more than I do?

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 1:31 PM
I have no involvement with the creation of the game. I'm just a fan of The Beatles. I only know about The Beatles and what information has been released about the game. By they, I was referring to Harmonix, MTV, and who ever else is working on the game.

I made a simple statement that I think this game should support another guitar controller. Again, it would be more accurate, useful to significant number of songs, and better recreate that Beatles feeling that the Rock Band games try to do. It's not like I'm demanding it, or want it mandatory for every song, or whatever else you seem to think. I just think it would be a good inclusion, and "a must" for some fans if they want to successfully recreate The Beatles experience.

Posted by r_pad - Sunday, November 02, 2008 11:10 AM
@ANDREtheGAMER If "they" thought it was a must, I'd say the same thing. I sincerely doubt "they" would, assuming you're talking about the developer and the publisher. I wouldn't say I "have no information" to support my opinion. I'm making an educated guess based on knowing people involved with the game.

I wasn't patronizing you. I was using an example to show that your premise was poor. Again, I'm arguing with your opinion based on what I know about the game, which -- and I'm not being patronizing -- is probably more than you do. If you're involved with the publishing or development of the game, speak up and provide something to support you opinion.

As for having two guitar parts shoved on one player, I don't see what the problem is. Tons of songs in Rock Band and Guitar Hero only follow one of the guitar parts.

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:31 AM
Again, what if they thought it was a must? What would you say then? And your statistic has absolutely no information to support it, so don't be so sure. And from a gameplay perspective, do you really want two guitar parts shoved on to one player?

I called you a chump for patronizing me about multiple mics and have french horns. Now the only reason you have to support your opinion is that you're "sure 99% of the people" wouldn't mind. Well, if you want to speak for all those people, maybe you should check in with them first. Otherwise, you haven't provided any argument, and instead disregard my opinion for no reason.

Posted by r_pad - Saturday, November 01, 2008 11:27 AM
@ANDREtheGAMER No need to call me a chump. I disagreed with your opinion, that's all. I don't agree with your idea that "it's a must" for there to be five controllers for this game. I'm sure 99% of the people that play it would be just fine with four. That hardly makes it "a must".

@mdalcm That's a great list! I'm sad that you didn't include "In My Life" though.

Posted by mdalcm - Saturday, November 01, 2008 2:43 AM
and the singles
she loves you
i want to hold your hand
cant buy me love
day tripper
paper back writer
get back
dont let me down

i had to make a second post cuz it said 1000 or less

Posted by mdalcm - Saturday, November 01, 2008 2:42 AM
well heres my list of songs i want from each album
please please me:
twist and shout
i saw her standing there

with the beatles:
dont bother me

a hard days night:
a hard days night
cant buy me love

beatles for sale:
no songs from this album

ticket to ride
tell me what you see

rubber soul:
drive my car
im looking trough you

tax man
eleano rigby
she said she said
and your bird can sing

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band:
lucy in the sky with diamons (maybe )
a day in the life

Magical Mystery Tour:
i am the walrus
strawberry fields forever
baby your a rich man

the white album:
back in the ussr
dear prudence(just cuz i love the song but its kinda slow for a game)
while my guitar gently weeps
happiness is a warm gun
dont pass me by
helter skelter

Abbey Road:
the end

Let It Be:
two of us
across the universe

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Saturday, November 01, 2008 1:22 AM
Oh please. It's not that big of a request, it's just that we haven't seen it before. It's nothing like asking for whole new peripherals, and it'd actually be useful for a significant portion of the songs. I'm not sure why I'm taking such offense to your comment, but really, what do you think you are doing? Defending the game which we know so little about? What if they did add another guitar? You going to say they're being too literal as well? That's right, chump.

Posted by r_pad - Friday, October 31, 2008 5:50 PM
@yoshiarecool It's not a Rock Band game. It's its own franchise.

@ANDREtheGAMER You're being too literal. If you really wanted an experience that authentic then you'd add multiple microphones so you could harmonize. Hell, you'd need a French horn peripheral for "Penny Lane".

Posted by gravy666 - Friday, October 31, 2008 5:47 PM
This is a big kick in the crotch to Activision.

Posted by yoshiarecool - Friday, October 31, 2008 4:20 PM
If 'Rock Band: The Beatles" is true, then I officially proclaim Rock Band as the victor in the Band games
Nothing short of Activision bringing Jimi Hendrix back from the dead could overshadow this

Posted by ANDREtheGAMER - Friday, October 31, 2008 11:46 AM
I think you are missing one possible concern The Feed. We need at least 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drum set, and 1 mic to be supported. I'm not sure if they can do the 5 input things, but I think it's a must.

The Beatles had 217 officially released songs, with about 4 of those as alternate versions. I'm hoping for about half of that on the disc, really focusing on creating the best game they can. That is, not holding back to make some dlc money.

Posted by Socalmic47 - Friday, October 31, 2008 8:49 AM
It's not a matter of which songs they will put on the "It's not Rock Band" game but HOW MANY. Are they planning on screwing over the fans like they did with the AC/DC rip off? I guess that's what you get when you allow yourself to be involved with Wall-Mart. Hopefully, Sir Paul can teach Harmonix a lesson or two about how to treat your fans.

Posted by ifonlytobreathe - Friday, October 31, 2008 8:26 AM
I'm all about Revolver. Probably one of their most underrated albums.

Posted by rvanyush - Friday, October 31, 2008 7:58 AM
white album..nuff' said

Posted by Asrugan - Friday, October 31, 2008 7:54 AM
I'll get long as I have an option to also port the songs off to Rock Band.

Posted by ASXL41 - Friday, October 31, 2008 7:38 AM
I don't care what songs they put into the game. I'm sure it will be a fair representation of their catalog, so I would expect all sorts. If they are going to blend songs and visuals together, then would that mean we'll play as real cartoon characters on Yellow Submarine? That would be awesome.

Posted by sebs180 - Friday, October 31, 2008 7:22 AM
I'll be awesome if they included a piano sort of peripheral maybe idk, I'll be buying this game without any doubts and talking about the love CD all of those tracks should be included

Posted by r_pad - Friday, October 31, 2008 3:57 AM
I want as much of Rubber Soul as possible. It's my favorite Beatles album, by far -- partially because of the great music and partially because it was my dad's favorite.

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