Warner Wants More

Warner Music Group announced Thursday that video games using their music would need to pay more per song for licensing. This decision by WMG, the third-largest music company in the world, will particularly affect such music-dependent video games as Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

Warner Music Group announced Thursday that video games using their music would need to pay more per song for licensing. This decision by WMG, the third-largest music company in the world, will particularly affect such music-dependent video games as Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

Games of this variety have become wildly popular in recent years, spawning numerous sequels and spin-offs and, more importantly, bringing in serious cash for companies like Harmonix and Activision (Guitar Hero has quickly developed into a $1 billion franchise).

“The amount being paid to the music industry, even though their games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small,” WMG Executive Edgar Bronfman, Jr. explained, also comparing the popularity of the games to such pop culture powerhouses as MTV and Apple’s iPod.

Bronfman announced that he would no longer license music for video games if the music business does not benefit as the game companies do. “We need to be very careful that [we] do not allow an ecosystem to occur where we are not properly compensated,” he elaborated.

With the recent trend of artist-specific games, such as Aerosmith’s version of Guitar Hero, Bronfman believes that now is a better time than ever to ensure that the content shared benefits all of those involved: game companies, artists, and of course, labels.

Bronfman’s decision should not affect upcoming releases such as Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero World Tour, but will be an issue in the development of future releases.


2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Concert Numbers Are Up

8/8/08 Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band @ Mercy Lounge, Nashville, Tenn.