Ever since The Beatles: Rock Band came out back on September 9, we have been holed up in our apartments attempting to harmonize our way to "The End" of the game. And although we're perfectly comfortable with our decision to eschew showering and seeing our friends anywhere outside of our own living rooms until we conquer this game on Expert level, it seems that analysts significantly overestimated the propensity of Americans to strum along to "Octopus's Garden" with plastic guitars. According to the L.A. Times, The Beatles: Rock Band sold 595,000 copies during its first month of release, which puts it ahead of the first month sales of both Rock Band and Rock Band II, but far short of the 1.3 million copies that analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities had predicted it would sell.
While it's far too early to call the game a disappointment, early indications are that the game didn't quite live up to Viacom's lofty expectations. According to reports, Sumner Redstone's company paid approximately $10 million to various Beatles rights holders in order to use the likenesses of the Fab Four, and others estimate that the company may have to pay upwards of $40 million in royalty payments when all is said and done. Additionally, it can't make Viacom feel very comfortable that, during the same time period, Halo: ODST sold 1.5 million copies and the fully Beatles-less Guitar Hero 5 sold 495,000 copies. Oh, well: If the game ends up being an expensive flop for Viacom, at least we'll all know who to blame.
The Beatles: Rock Band debuts to solid but not stellar sales [Company Town/LAT]