"Rock Band" Courts Kids With "LEGO" Video Game

With billions of dollars at stake, the makers of Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been locked in a fierce battle over the music gaming market. Guitar Hero: Metallica comes out for Activision, MTV Games/Harmonix fire back by announcing The Beatles: Rock Band. But both companies have been competing for gamers who are in their teens or older, largely ignoring the under-12 market — until now. MTV Games/Harmonix are introducing LEGO Rock Band, a PG version of the original that replaces the game's tattooed and grungy avatars with kid-appropriate toys.

TT Games, the company behind LEGO Batman and LEGO Indiana Jones, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming with MTV Games and Harmonix to release the game, which is due in time for this year's holiday shopping season for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii. Though it's aimed at children, kids won't be rockin' to Raffi: The initial track list features Blur's "Song 2," Pink's "So What," Europe's "The Final Countdown," Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" and Good Charlotte's "Boys and Girls." Instead of playing in a venue that apes Madison Square Garden, the LEGO musicians will rock a room constructed of LEGOs that apes Madison Square Garden. There's no word whether LEGO Rock Band will feature pint-sized versions of the current instruments.

For MTV Games/Harmonix, this move seems pretty genius: Rock Band will attract a younger demographic who will grow up with an affinity for Rock Band, plus generate a game rocker parents can enjoy with their kids.

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