Beatles Might Become Guitar Heroes Again

Tired of playing Trogdor and Freebird over and over? Maybe help is on the way. Representatives of the remaining Beatles are in discussions with the makers of both the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games. Activision and MTV Games are after a deal for the most sought-after catalog of music ever.

A final deal would be worth several million dollars, according to a person familiar with the talks, and could be reached in a matter of weeks. However, it would have first to win the blessing of both Apple Corps, the company established by the band to oversee its business interests, and EMI, the UK music group that owns the Beatles master recordings. Both declined to comment.

The surviving Beatles and their heirs have been cautious about exploiting their material on new platforms. They were slow to re-issue their albums on compact disc.

In spite of repeated discussions, EMI and Apple Corps have yet to license Beatles recordings for digital use, including for sale through Apple’s iTunes music store.

The Beatles have an interesting problem. By not allowing their catalog to be licensed for every thing that comes along, they're in a position to charge an enormous amount when they do decide to sign on a dotted line. But they also risk staying out of the public eye for so long that all their fans are in a nursing home. Maybe Paul needs more money after his divorce and we'll see a Cavern Club Guitar Hero. Or a Shea Stadium Rock Band.