Viacom has admitted that its Rock Band series is still not making any cash - on the contrary, it's losing the company money. Viacom's chief financial officer, Tom Dooley, admitted in a quarterly earnings report that "Rock Band was a negative contributor to margins in the third quarter".
He added: "We expect it to break even or be slightly profitable in the fourth quarter from a margin point of view. It really depends on how many units we sell in the holiday season".
The big problem is that making the plastic guitars, drums and microphones is expensive. The company's plan, it seems, revolves around getting those controllers into as many into people's homes as possible, then selling them future games in the franchise that cost both the company and the consumer less.
To that end, both Rock Band 2 and Beatles: Rock Band are compatible with older controllers on the same platform, but it seems to be a pretty long-term strategy. Having said that, Beatles Rock Band is apparently doing reasonably well - "the economics of our Rock Band franchise are improving, though not as quickly as we'd like", said Viacom's CEO, Philippe Daumann.