The Beatles are a tough act to follow. And so, several weeks from the release of Green Day: Rock Band, publisher MTV Games has some promoting to do. MTV Games GM Scott Gutherie recently explained the reasoning behind picking the younger, less “classic rock”-oriented band for its next single-act music game following The Beatles: Rock Band.

“We were pleased with the performance of Beatles: Rock Band, but we were expecting higher sales,” Guthrie said. “Our core audience of 16- to 34-year-old males are much more familiar with Green Day music than The Beatles. ” Targeting the core gaming audience with a band active during their lifetimes certainly seems like a sensible business move, though it does signal a move away from the kind of market expansion MTV and Harmonix were attempting with Beatles. However, Guthrie’s suggestion that “Green Day probably has a much higher awareness than perhaps The Beatles did” seems like a stretch. Everyone knows The Beatles.

The clear market advantage that the Green Day game does have is the benefit of being compatible with Rock Band’s existing and ever-growing library, as its tracks are exportable (for a fee) to Xbox 360 and PS3 hard drives and playable in the main iterations of the series. Though Guthrie didn’t say as much, it’s possible Beatles sales suffered because the game was a standalone project, which didn’t mesh well with the Rock Band ethos and its core demographic.

JoystiqGreen Day: Rock Band more familiar to ‘core audience’ than The Beatles, MTV Games says originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 14 May 2010 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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