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GameStop's McKenzie: Beatles Game's 'Added Material' Makes It Work

GameStop exec Bob McKenzie tells Gamasutra that The Beatles: Rock Band is "not just another guitar product" -- the "added material from the band and from that era" make it compelling.
Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview to be published in the near future, GameStop SVP of merchandising Bob McKenzie has been discussing prospects for The Beatles: Rock Band, suggesting that the "added material" in the game elevates it above being another Rock Band iteration. The title, to be released this September for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, is a collaboration between Rock Band creators Harmonix and Beatles rights owners Apple Corps. Though there are relatively few specifics, George Harrison's son Dhani recently revealed that the game will include material "that has never been heard, never been released." The title will cost $60 for the game-only version, even for the Wii SKU (traditionally $50), and up to $250 for a limited-edition instrument bundle. When GameStop's McKenzie was asked about the title and Wii price point in particular, he noted: "It's gonna be interesting, but again seeing the demo of that product -- I'm not a huge Beatles fan, but after I saw the demo and the Harmonix band got up there and they did that for us, I was ready to go out pre-order the $250 SKU." McKenzie, whose firm will be one of the largest retailers of the title, suggested The Beatles: Rock Band is beyond even some of the other band-specific music titles released recently: "It's just got that much value to it, and I think it's entertaining because it's not just another guitar product or another version of Rock Band; it's actually got some of the cutscenes and some of the added material from the band and from that era." The GameStop exec concluded by noting: "That kind of adds the value when you're looking at, say, the $60 or even stepping up to a $250 product for the complete kit. I think they got the right combination of putting a quality product together with some added value -- additional content -- and really making that compelling for the consumer." The full interview with GameStop's McKenzie, including more on the pre-eminent specialty game retailer's trends, will run in the near future on Gamasutra.

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