MTV ready to Rock Europe

MTV Games is establishing a new base in Europe – and the entertainment giant has told MCV its local team will dethrone Activision as the territory’s No.1 publisher in the lucrative music games genre.

The firm has hired former THQ exec Roy Campbell to head up its international business and put together a European super-team based in London.

MTV’s Rock Band is the biggest music game in the US but in Europe it lags behind Activision’s monster-selling Guitar Hero brand.

The music giant has set its sights on taking market share from Activision with Q4’s launch of Rock Band 3.

The reality is we have underperformed in Europe, certainly versus our competitor,” said MTV Games executive VP and GM Scott Guthrie.

We had decent growth with the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, but we absolutely believe there is much more to come from us for Europe. Within that space our objective is to be the number one player.

It is a fairly straightforward game plan – to have more feet on the ground so that we’ve got dedicated resources that will be able to collaborate and work with our friends at EA. We believe bringing in someone with Roy’s experience and skill set will allow us to be much more nimble.

This is a very competitive marketplace, particularly here in the UK. I would say the UK is the toughest territory that any of us in the gaming business is operating in right now. There is a lot of price compression, there’s a lot of profit compression and it is a very savvy experience.”

Guthrie admitted the firm has a tough task in unseating Guitar Hero: We have a long way to go, and we are doing catch-up, and we are going up against not just a formidable opponent in Activision but also the likes of Sony with the SingStar franchise. But we absolutely believe we can be the market leader.

We really believe that with the launch of Rock Band 3 – a significant upgrade to what we had before – we can take market share away from them.”

More details on RB3 will be revealed at E3, while the firm is also readying Green Day: Rock Band for June 8th launch.

Unlike the other guy, we haven’t been bringing a new game out every year. What you will find with Rock Band 3 is that first of all the music is great – and it is new music, and lots of it – but there are some new consumer features that you will find exciting.”

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