October 30, 2008 / 2:29 PM / 10 years ago

MTV strike deal to use Beatles songs on 'Rock Band'

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - MTV Networks announced on Thursday a deal to use songs by 60s band The Beatles in a custom video game similar to its popular “Rock Band” video, marking the band’s first key plunge into digital music.

MTV Networks said there was no release date or sale price for the game, but that it was due to be ready for release around the holidays next year. Jeff Jones, chief executive of The Beatles Apple Corps Ltd, said the game would include “samples of the whole (music) catalogue.”

MTV Networks, owned by Viacom Inc’s VIAb.N, said the game was creatively conceived by former Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and the wives of late Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

“The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” McCartney said in a statement.

Pop music fans consider The Beatles, who broke up in 1970, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Surviving members of the group as well as its representatives have jealously guarded the distribution of their music online.

“Rock Band” — which is developed by MTV’s Harmonix and published by Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O —let fans play plastic guitars along with music on television screens. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by Jackie Frank)

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