Warner doesn't feel like it's getting a fair financial shake from games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said in an earnings call today that the money the industry is getting from games that "are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small". He painted a gloomy picture of being fiscally left behind while rhythm games profited from in-game tracks and downloads, pointing to MTV and Apple as having built successful business off of licensing.
He called for greater industry participation, threating "we will not licence to those games" if higher royalties don't fall in line with the "true value" of the game's music.
Since we're not privy to the insides of Warner's treasure chest, we're not sure what kind of cut that particular group of labels is getting, but who doesn't want more money? Our initial reaction to Bronfman's kvetching is that the music industry should be careful not to shoot itself in the foot, writing off licensing deals with two games that are a fantastic way to introduce a burgeoning market to your new and archival catalogue. And with such palatable DRM.
But hey, we just work here.