Beatles, 'Rock Band' Team Are Game

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BYLINE: Randy Lewis

Los Angeles: The music of the Beatles will at long last start its journey across the digital universe next year as part of a new interactive video game being developed by the creators of the hit Rock Band game.

The Fab Four's recordings, the major holdout from availability in any digital form, will be part of a still-untitled game, being described as a fully immersive and interactive experience, to be released for the 2009 holiday season, said Jeff Jones, chief executive of Apple Corps, the company the Beatles established in 1968 to oversee their business affairs.

"The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of the Beatles and their music," Paul McCartney said in a statement.

"I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out."

McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, have been and will continue to be directly involved in creating the game, Jones said.

Participants in last week's morning news conference announcing the game said it will take players on a journey through the Beatles's music and story with imagery and songs spanning the band's career.

They also said it will be a completely new game, not a Beatles edition of Rock Band, though current Rock Band players will be able to use some of the same game peripherals.

"The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that the Beatles's legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerised world we live in," Starr said in the same statement.

Participants in the teleconference included MTV executives Judy McGrath and Van Toffler, and Alex Rigopulos, chief executive and co-founder of Harmonix, which created Rock Band.

Music supervisor for the game will be Giles Martin, the son of original Beatles producer George Martin, who worked with his father in creating the double-Grammy-winning soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil-Beatles show Love in Las Vegas. …