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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can u Believe Beatles : Rock Band Together

LOS ANGELES-->If You Were Among The Thousands Of People At Microsoft's E3 Press Briefing On Monday, It's A Pretty Sure Bet That The Appearance On-Stage There Of Paul Mccartney, Ringo Starr, And Yoko Ono Was One Of The Most Unexpected Things Imaginable.

But If You Think About It, The Very Existence Of The Game That Led To Their Showing Up During The Xbox Press Briefing, Harmonix And Mtv Games' "Beatles: Rock Band," Is Even More Surprising. After All, The Beatles Have, Over The Years, Maintained A Stranglehold Over Control Of Their Music. For Example The Beatles Are Still The Holy Grail That Itunes Has Not Yet Been Able To Corral.

The game will be released on September 9 (09.09.09) on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, and the Wii.

So how did the game come to pass?

Since the two remaining Beatles weren't able to come to the phone for this article, I decided to stop by the Harmonix booth at E3 and ask the game's lead designer, Chris Foster, for the skinny behind what has got to be one of the biggest coups in video gaming history.

Foster said the story begins a couple of years ago, when MTV President Van Toffler ran into Dhani Harrison, son of the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison, in some random social setting.

"It was just sort of through happenstance," Foster said. "Dhani was a big 'Rock Band' fan, and there was this sort of, 'Wouldn't it be nice if...but it'll never happen.'"

Beatles RockBand rocks E3

But being a "Rock Band" fan, Dhani Harrison took his idea to Harmonix CEO and co-founder Alex Rigopulos and began a conversation about what a Beatles version of "Rock Band" could be. Foster said that the idea seemed like a huge challenge, but, deciding to pursue it, Harrison began evangelizing the idea to Apple Corps, the Beatles' U.K. publisher, and its shareholders, particularly McCartney, Starr, and Ono.

"So then, from that point, it was just sort of getting them familiar with ('Rock Band')," Foster said, "and getting them understanding what the game could be like."

By now, the discussions were far enough along that Harmonix put together a simple demo of the kind of music and conceptual art that could be used in the game, Foster said.

And, amazingly, inexplicably, it worked.

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