MTV Games General Manager Scott Guthrie says he’s disappointed by the sales of The Beatles: Rock Band in Europe but still believes that the music game genre is and will remain an important part of the industry.
It seems simple enough: Take the most famous rock band of all time, mash it together with the ridiculously popular music game genre, then get out of the way and let the millions pour in. But apparently there’s a little more to it than that, according to Guthrie, who gave a rather blunt answer when asked if he was satisfied with sales of The Beatles: Rock Band in Europe.
“The honest answer is no,” he said. “We were expecting higher sales.”
What happened? “We got caught in a few things that happened last year. It was a tough economy, there was a lot of competitive products out there and I think Beatles probably had softer sales than it would have if some of those things weren’t in play,” he explained. “Overall we were pleased with the sales. I think that we underestimated the competition and they took mind share away from us.”
I’m not exactly sure how he went from being dissatisfied with sales of the game to being pleased with them, although I’d guess it’s one of those fine lines that separates what people really hope for and what’s good enough to keep them from getting fired. Whatever the case, Guthrie believes that music games remain “significant in the marketplace” and that despite the underwhelming performance of The Beatles: Rock Band, MTV can still take the lead in the genre.
“We have a long way to go, and we are playing catch-up – we were not the first people in the market and we’re up against not just a formidable opponent in Activision, but also Sony with the SingStar franchise,” he said. “There are several things in play here – but we absolutely believe we can be the market leader.”