In spite of what was written in a recent article in Wired Magazine, MTV, creators of Rock Band, will not boycott bands from Warner Brothers Music. The real situation, according to Billboard, is more of a standoff -- an impasse or a staring contest.
MTV requested several new licenses from Warner Bros. over the last few months, under the same financial terms they always had, but Warners responded with counteroffers that MTV would not agree to. Bam: Standoff.
"The amount being paid to the music industry, even though [these] games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small," Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman told analysts last summer. If the gamemakers pay up, "we will not license to those games."
Warner Bros. still has artists coming to Rock Band until the summer (including Jane's Addiction's "Nothing Shocking!" Rawk!). After that, the well runs dry and Warner Bros.' music will stop showing up as DLC until a deal can be agreed upon.
I think Warner Bros. needs Rock Band more than Rock Band needs them. I'm sure MTV drives a hard bargain with its Rock Band royalty rates, but you can't ignore the promotional opportunities music games provide record companies. Rock Band and Guitar Hero have breathed new life into bands whose sales flat-lined a long time ago. That's worth more than the money MTV offers, especially to an industry that has seen sales declining consistently for what... like ten years? Anyway, I hope they work it out. I just wanna rock!