Yoko Ono “Gave Harmonix Hell” Over The Beatles: Rock Band


Yoko Ono, the wife of late ex-Beatle John Lennon, “gave the designers hell” after taking a last-minute interest in the development of the upcoming music game The Beatles: Rock Band.

Basing a game on The Beatles is a daunting task. Expectations are sky-high. There’s a wealth of material to draw from but even the slightest misstep will be amplified a hundred-fold by the harsh judgment of millions of Beatles fans worldwide. And then there’s Yoko Ono.

Ono’s involvement in the development of The Beatles: Rock Band had been minimal, according to Wired, until a “rough build” of the game was finished this spring. At that point, she elected to fly to the Harmonix studios in Boston, have a look at things and offer some helpful, constructive feedback.

“She gave the designers hell,” said Paul DeGooyer, senior vice-president at MTV Games. Speaking somewhat more charitably, Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix co-founder and CEO, added, “She’s an artist, so she was very concerned with the look of the game. She really held our feet to the fire.”

Among her suggestions were that the game’s final scene, the Beatles’ famous concert on the roof of the Apple Corps building in 1969, wasn’t windy enough and she was also apparently critical of the graphics. With only three months to go before E3 and the game’s planned debut, “We were like, oh, gee. Thanks,” Rigopulos said. “It would have been nice to know that six months ago, but yes, thank you very much.”

The changes were made in time, however, and by all reports The Beatles: Rock Band is looking fantastic. But if by some chance it fails to sell and Harmonix falls apart as a result, well, we can always blame Yoko Ono.

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