NEWS - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

100 Million Songs Downloaded for Rock Band

Harmonix has no plans to release Rock Band 4 in 2011 but that doesn’t mean it won’t still be bringing in revenue throughout the year. Besides sales of its games, the digital side of the developer’s business continues to do quite well.
 "We recently hit a significant milestone; more than 100 million songs have been downloaded for Rock Band. It’s amazing," said Harmonix’s Chris Rigopulos in an interview with Game Informer. "On behalf of Harmonix, I should probably take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all of our fans who have propelled us to these heights and to all of the artists whose music lies at the heart of the Rock Band experience."
Those 100 million downloads are comprised of the more than 2,700 tracks (from around 900 artists) that have been released since Harmonix started offering DLC in 2007. More than 5 million individual accounts have downloaded at least one song and a fairly large number of people continue to play the game each month. "With all of the negative press around the band genre, you might be surprised to learn that we still see more than a million unique users log on each month to play Rock Band and to pick up new music -- and it’s not the same million players each month," he explained. He later added that Xbox 360 players buy the most content, although "behavior of 360 and PS3 users is pretty similar." That’s attributed to the Rock Band Network’s full catalog of songs which is only found on Xbox Live.
Having completely split from MTV, Harmonix doesn’t expect there to be any noticeable changes to its approach with selecting new music to release as DLC. "Well, I doubt you will see any more SpongeBob SquarePants packs," Rigopulos added. Upcoming songs include new tracks from the Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, and Ozzy Osbourne.
"We’ve seen an unexpected spike in new users picking up Rock Band in the past months," he said. "We know there are a good number of Guitar Hero fans who were not ready to pack it in, and because their instruments are compatible, it seems like many of them are crossing over to Rock Band. We’re excited to welcome anyone into our community who is passionate about rhythm gaming and we hope that they’re excited about the depth of the Rock Band catalog."
It could also be the game’s new $19.99 price tag bringing new players in. (Even better, Toys R Us has the game for just $9.98 at the moment.) Harmonix seems excited about the game being available for such a low price. As Rigopulos puts it, "A price cut like that has much more compelling economics when you consider that each unit sold represents the potential creation of a new DLC customer."
The music game business overall has been in a major decline as of late, as Rigopulos intimated. Activision put the Guitar Hero franchise, Rock Band’s main competitor, on hiatus earlier this year.
As for what the future holds, Harmonix recently hinted that it has "significant news" to reveal at E3.



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