MTV Games, which publishes the popular “Rock Band” franchise, is tuning up to becoming a bigger player in the videogames biz, tapping Scott Guthrie to head up the company, while David Cox will run sales.

Guthrie, who most recently served as exec VP of publishing at gamemaker THQ, will serve as exec VP-general manager of MTV Games, overseeing which titles the company makes, as well as marketing and distribution of those properties. That includes “Rock Band,” developed by Harmonix Music Systems, which MTV acquired in 2006.

He will be based out of MTV Networks’ New York headquarters and report directly to prexy Van Toffler.

Before THQ, Guthrie held multiple posts at Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment group, including senior VP of sales and distribution.

Meanwhile, Cox was formerly senior director of sales and merchandising for Sony Computer Entertainment, where he was responsible for PlayStation hardware sales in the U.S. and games that play on that and other consoles released by the company. He’d worked at Midway, Eidos and Acclaim in the past and now serves as senior VP of sales at MTV Games.

Cox’s duties will include working with MTV Games distribution partner Electronic Arts. He’s based in San Francisco and reports to Guthrie.

Hiring moves come as MTV has turned into one of the top five videogame publishers after “Rock Band” became a viable contender against rival “Guitar Hero.” It also recently started moving on plans to produce games with Jerry Bruckheimer.