While, yes, Rock Band is extremely popular, the series isn't cheap to make. The franchise has been a money loser for parent company Viacom—not because nobody is buying (tons are!), but because of the plastic instruments.
It's costly to make and ship the plastic instruments to retails around the world from plants in China. Viacom is hoping that The Beatles: Rock Band. With a broad consumer base, early forecasts are that Viacom will recoup costs on Day One.
The game looks to be a big money maker for those connected with The Beatles—namely fab four music catalogue owner EMI Music and Apple Corps, which represents Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, the John Lennon estate and the George Harrison estate.
"The royalty rates on this are not even comparable to anything that has been done before," Martin Bandier, chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, told The Los Angeles Times. ATV Music Publishing is a joint venture of Sony Corp. and Michael Jackson's estate, which controls the publishing rights to most of the Beatles catalog.
In short: Lots of people are going to buy this game and lots of people are going to make money. That, and the love you take, is equal to the love you make. Yeah, yeah, yeah.