The Beatles: Rock Band Sales Fizzle

Fab Four Music Game Sales Decline, But Not Nearly as Hard as Music Game Sales in General

January 18, 2010 The Beatles: Rock Band, anticipated to be a massive holiday hit, saw sales slump in December, selling only 357,000 units across North America according to the NPD. The Beatles: Rock Band has sold 1.7 million copies worldwide, and 1.18 million in North America.

While selling more than a million copies of a game is generally considered to be very good, The Beatles: Rock Band was supposed to be huge. After all, The Beatles are widely considered to be the greatest band of all time and their hits have survived the test of time, remaining as popular with teens and young adults today as they are with baby boomers who grew up with the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

MTV Games executive vice president, Scott Guthrie, said he was generally pleased with the holiday sales of The Beatles: Rock Band, but he noted that European sales were below expectations.

Luckily, there is some silver lining to the news – Mr. Guthrie pointed out that more than 1 million Beatles songs have been downloaded and more people were buying the game without controllers, which was good news because MTV Games lost money on the controllers.

The game cost MTV Games millions to produce, with at least $40 million tied up in royalties paid to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison.

The news was much cheerier for MTV Games however, than it was for the rest of the music games industry. Guitar Hero 5 sold only 996,000 total units as compared to last year’s Guitar Hero: World Tour, which sold 3.4 million copies. Music games as a whole were down 46% in sales during 2009, which saw games such as Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero go bust.

Source: LA Times via Kotaku