Warner Gives Video Games a Sour Note

Even though a nice size of musicians are loving the attention they are receiving from Guitar Hero and Rock Band, those they answer to are not.

Warner Music is doing poorly financially; the company reported that their losses were $9 million in the three months ending in June. No surprise–it’s just too easy to get music for free these days–but what is surprising is one of the causes Warner cited. They say music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero just aren’t paying them enough.

“There is what I would call a very paltry licensing fee per song,” said Edgar Bronfman Jr., the chairman and chief executive who owns a 6.5 percent stake in Warner Music. “I think the industry as a whole needs to take a very different look at this business and participate more fully and in a much more partnership way,” he said. “And if that does not become the case, as far as Warner Music is concerned, we will not license to those games.”

With this type of attitude coming from those who hold all of the music rights, does this spell disaster for future installments of the beloved Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises? What may happen is a split in the various groups of music companies, some granting the developers thr rights to songs, while others may flat out refuse to hand them over, or at the least let them have a knock-off version. We all know how popular these are.

What Warner needs to do is either renegotiate a price with the developers and publisher, or do a better job of making sure they make money from their record sales. Unfortunately for Warner, the world does not revolve around compact discs anymore (no pun intended).

Portion of Article cited from G4 and Forbes:

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  • B1gBadDaddy

    It's not just Rock Band or Guitar Hero's fault, for over a decade they've been losing money thanks to illegal downloads. I think the music industry needs to move on with the times; in an age of Rock Band, iPods, and iTunes, the 'CD' industry needs to catch up I think.

  • BigSmooth8

    I couldn't agree more with you BigBadDaddy. I've been saying it for a while now. They need to change the way they do business and find another way to make money. The illegal downloads is a battle they just can't win.