If you were to suggest to The Rolling Stones circa 1975 that one day sales of their songs would spike because of a videogame, they would no doubt have laughed you out of the recording studio.

But that's exactly what's happened following the release of videogame phenomenon Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The ageing rockers enjoyed a "notable bump" in digital single sales for a pair of songs thanks to Black Ops, Billboard.com reports.

The US telly and internet ad for the game, which you can see below, features the Stones' iconic Vietnam War song "Gimme Shelter".

"Oh a storm is threatening my very life today / If I don't get some shelter / Oh yeah I'm gonna fade away / War / Children / It's just a shot away" sings Mick Jagger.

Sales of the song jumped from slightly more than 2000 copies during the week of 31st October to over 5000 the following week, then doubled to nearly 11,000 for the week ending 14th November.

In order for Activision to secure the use of the song, it had to fly to New York (business class, we assume) and show the ad on a laptop to license holder ABKCO Music & Records. Activision preferred that to sending it digitally because it wanted to avoid the ad falling into the hands of the game press. They can be gits, them game press.

Apparently for the first time in Activision history, it allowed another company to make edits to the ad itself in order to obtain approval from the band members.

"It's such a big deal, such a serious song and such a big band . . . we had to fly out for it," Activision VP of music affairs Tim Riley said.

"They certainly say 'no' more than they say 'yes'. It's The Rolling Stones. It's not like they need the money."

"Sympathy for the Devil" was licensed as background music for a scene in the game that helped double sales of the song to nearly 5000.

Oh, and apparently another Stones track is coming. For what, we don't know. DLC?

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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