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 Beatles  Sales Beating Expectations, But Activision Says  Guitar Hero 5  Leading
Beatles Sales Beating Expectations, But Activision Says Guitar Hero 5 Leading
September 17, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

September 17, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
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"Terrific" sales of The Beatles: Rock Band are outpacing MTV/Harmonix parent Viacom's own expectations a week after its launch, says CEO Philippe Dauman.

"Sales have exceeded our internal projections and we’ve sold 25 per cent of our inventory in the first week,” said Dauman, speaking at New York's Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference.

Viacom also says it is currently expecting about a 20 percent profit margin on the title, even though the royalty payout for the game is believed to be unusually costly to the company.

Up to $40 million is possible for band representative Apple Corps, recordings owner EMI, and catalog publishing rights owner Sony/ATV Music Publishing -- "not even comparable to anything that has been done before," according to Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman Martin Bandier.

The news of The Beatles: Rock Band's strong debut comes even as the game was trumped by rival Guitar Hero 5 on the UK charts; Activision's competing franchise took the top spot on the all-platforms chart last week even with only two days on sale, while Beatles came in fourth.

Activision told the Financial Times that the release of The Beatles: Rock Band failed to impact GH5's momentum: "It did not affect our sales," said Guitar Hero division head Dan Rosensweig, who claimed a four-to-one sales ratio in favor of his game versus Beatles in the U.S. -- and nine-to-one in "other markets," according to the report.

Dan Rosensweig, head of the Guitar Hero division at Activision, told the Financial Times it had seen no impact from the heavily-marketed Beatles game. He added that Guitar Hero outsold Rock Band by four to one in the US and nine to one in other markets.


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