Apple Corps, the company that controls The Beatles’ business interests, and EMI, which owns the band’s master recordings, are understood to be in talks with video games companies. It is thought that a deal for a Beatles-themed game could be completed within weeks.
The Beatles’ representatives are reported to be in talks with Activision, which already makes popular music game Guitar Hero, and Rock Band-maker MTV Games.
The licensing deal would have to be approved by Apple Corps and EMI before it could go ahead. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison, wife of the late George Harrison, and Yoko Ono are on the board of Apple. Sony/ATV Music Publishing controls more than 200 copyrights of Beatles tracks.
Apple Corps and EMI have not yet licensed the band’s music for digital release and it is understood that they were slow to re-issue releases on CD. They have allowed the Beatles songs to be used on American Idol and the move is reported to have generated interest from other companies keen to licence the music.