How did we miss this, a nine-page article in the New York Times about The Beatles: Rock Band? Is it overkill? Perhaps. Rock Band isn’t exactly new, and The Beatles aren’t exactly some unsigned band, but you have to consider the Times’ audience: older folks who probably saw The Beatles live at Shea Stadium, and who would be genuinely excited to see the band show up on iTunes one day (despite the fact that ripping their CDs is quite simple).
So, nine pages later, what have I learned?
• Releasing the game the same date as newly remastered CDs, which will be ripped to FLAC two days before the official release, is an “irresistible marketing tactic.”
• Harmonix thinks that, yeah, Rock Band has been big, but with The Beatles, well, the music genre will explode.
• It took months to convert The Beatles’ master tapes into digital versions, primarily because the band used to record only on two- and four-track tapes.
• Harmonix focused on “fun” songs rather than “iconic” songs, if that makes any sense
• Yoko really does come across as an insufferable woman. (“Stop talking about the technology. Let’s talk about the idea of what we are trying to accomplish here. John needs to own the performance, he needs to own the room. Where he’s looking and the look in his eye at every moment matters and affects people.”) She does, at one point, call the game “legitimate art,” though.
• People who say, “why don’t you play a real guitar, dork” suffer from schizophonia. It’s related to the fact that, generally, people disapprove of lip-syncing.
• Even though Harmonix will sell the downloadable songs as whole albums, you’ll still be able to buy individual songs.
That’s about it.
I can honestly say that I’ve never heard a Beatles album. How many of you can say that?
Oh, and to answer my own question from the headline, I’m probably about a two out of 10. A one seems too callous, but these games just aren’t my thing. Not to hate on those who do, of course, but I’ll pass.