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Rock Band 3 Officially Announced For Holiday 2010 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-cow-still-has-some-milk dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Philippe Dauman, Viacom CEO and President, announced today that Harmonix is currently working on the next Rock Band game, Rock Band 3, due for release Holiday 2010. 'The company is pursuing the game in spite of an industry-weakening decline in the once-booming genre of peripheral-equipped music games. Although the franchise has generated over $1 billion to date, the category in general saw sales contract by as much as half throughout 2009. MTV Games parent Viacom also saw Rock Band declines drag on its balance sheet in its last fiscal quarter, and expressed a need to refocus away from pricey peripherals in favor of software. It also said that due to royalties it would need to be more "selective" about track listings, and that it needs more support from the music industry in that department.'"
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Rock Band 3 Officially Announced For Holiday 2010

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  • "Holiday"? (Score:5, Funny)

    by HalfFlat (121672) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:32AM (#31424668)
    I must have a different calendar. When is Holiday? Is that after or before Septemberary?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TaxSlave (23295)
      Good news. Sounds like I should be able to buy the game around Memorial Day. That gives me all Summer to play the game.
    • by ghmh (73679)

      It's between the propth and hexth of Octember (inclusive). I thought everyone knew that?

      And here [slashdot.org] was me complaining about them using seasons...

    • It is, of course, a product of that politically-correct shadow-war on Christmas, escalated to the next level, which is that of Incomprehensibility.

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @08:46AM (#31425312)

      Lousy Smarch.

    • I thought it was pretty obvious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastafarian#Holiday [wikipedia.org]
    • You see, they can't say Christmas because of militant Atheists, and they can't say Fall because of Australia and New Zealand. So they fall back to Holiday, which is the Tuesday before Black Friday and signals the last day a work of authorship can be published before the shopping season begins. In United States, the shopping season traditionally begins on Black Friday, the first Friday on or after November 23.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by eln (21727)
        It's been called the "holiday season" well before phony religious-right talking heads looking to score points with their base started babbling on about a "war on christmas". The holiday season (in general) means the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, inclusive, and is called "the holidays" because it encompasses multiple holidays, not because society is trying to kill the baby Jesus.
        • The holiday season (in general) means the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, inclusive

          That's the same Holiday season I was referring to; my reckoning of Holiday for game releases is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It's just that Thanksgiving occurs a month and a half earlier in (say) Canada; is the "holiday season" considered twice as long there?

      • by Chelloveck (14643)

        You see, they can't say Christmas because of militant Atheists, and they can't say Fall because of Australia and New Zealand. So they fall back to Holiday, which is the Tuesday before Black Friday

        I think you mean "African-American Friday".

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:36AM (#31424676)
    Been there, done that. They need to find a new shtick...
    • Re:Meh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest (867930) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @07:07AM (#31424774)
      Yes they do. Their competition (PowerGig: Rise of the Six String) [google.com] has a controller that is an actual electric guitar ...
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        a controller that is an actual electric guitar ...

        See, that's really smart. Unfortunately, it's a lot harder than tapping buttons for most people.

        They need to let you plug your own guitar into the game as a controller. That's a game I'd play.

        When consoles really got high-tech, I thought for sure we'd see lots of music-training games. Unfortunately, they didn't really show up in the numbers and variety I'd hoped.

      • by MagicM (85041)

        There have been others [guitarrising.com] promising [littlebigstar.net] the same thing [wired.com], but so far nobody has delivered anything close to how awesome this could be.

      • It looks really interesting, though their site has mystery meat navigation and no info on the game that I can find. I sure hope their game-developer skills are superior to their web-developer skills...

  • If the new Power Gig is as good as it appears to be (and can get enough good guitar songs) it will blow away Rock Band and Guitar Hero :)

  • Not exactly compatible peripherals among games, crappy and buggy implementations, absurd prices and bad playlists pretty much killed the genre. It's been downhill since after guitar hero 3/rock band 1.

    After guitar hero 3, new releases seems to be using the same (and bad) engine. It epicly fail to process the buttons and frets on the PS2, and drops framerate noticeably all the time on the wii. They chose impossible-to-accomplish-on-those-platform graphics over gameplay.

    All that and guitar hero aerosmith.

    By t

    • By the way, DJ Hero? WTF?

      Real-time playback of a mash-up, which is supposed to be a more accurate simultation of real DJing than Konami's Beatmania.

      And wtf is Band Hero?

      Guitar Hero 5 with a set list from more "pop" genres.

      • by rworne (538610)

        DJ Hero isn't THAT BAD. It's actually a fresh idea for a change. My mistake was trusting the GH franchise just that one more time after getting burned by the utter crappiness that was GHIII and Aerosmith.

        DJ Hero hit with a bunch of fanfare, a couple DLC packs came out, and now they are talking about DJ Hero II while support for the original dropped off to nothing. Activision/Neversoft's idea of churning out several releases a year with mediocre after-support are killing the genre by flooding the market w

    • by billcopc (196330)

      Not exactly compatible peripherals among games

      I was under the impression that most peripherals from the same platform would work across both the Guitar Hero series and the Rock Band series. At the very least, my USB guitar controller from the PC version seems to work fine with all the Xbox 360 music games I've tried, and the compatibility matrix on Rockband.com suggests that most drum sets are also compatible.

      That said, Activision took a huge crap all over the franchise, starting with GH3. The engine, as you explained, is utter garbage. On my Crysis

      • by Clovis42 (1229086)

        Why go to the store and spend $70 on a disc with 5-6 good tunes and a bunch of filler, when there's more money to be made with DLC ?

        Well, if you wait a few months you can get the disk much cheaper. I can't stand spending $2 per song when I can get like 80 songs for like $30. I guess I'm just not that concerned with how awesome the music is. I don't actually listen to a lot of what they offer anyway. I just like playing along to whatever song. I even enjoy playing songs by bands I hate if they are fun to pla

  • It also said that due to royalties it would need to be more "selective" about track listings,...

    This sounds like "let's include more stuff like "Visions" and "I'll get By" where the artist is happy we included them in our game, not like those big rock stars with their big egos and good music and wanting a decent royalty, a pox on them!"

  • by Shihar (153932) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @07:51AM (#31424962)

    Why would ANYONE charge to be in Rock Band? If you want a sure way to boost your sales, get yourself featured in Rock Band. Thousands of people discovering or re-discovering your music is a pretty fucking obvious way to scare up some sales. Hell, for any game where music is featured a band is only screwing themselves by putting up barriers for being selected. If I had a band, I would murder my way into getting put on a GTA music station. Even for big name stars, reminding hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people that you still rock isn't going to hurt. It is even more important if you are an older band whose original followers are in the process getting jammed into nursing homes. You should be fighting over the privilege to introduce yourself to the younger generations via Rock Band.

    The music industry has its head jammed so firmly up their ass that is a minor miracle and a testament to monopoly power that they continue to exist each year.

    • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @09:02AM (#31425528)
      And along that point, it's worth reminding people that the Rock Band Network just launched, making it even easier for those bands to get on there. The downside being that you'll have to rely on community rating to show up among the crowd of other bands on there - there were a 100 tracks released on launch of the network, with supposedly another 300 in the pipe. And while there's a glut of unknown indie bands on the network who are desperate for the publicity, there's also a number of... maybe you'd call them "third tier" bands, groups that have a strong following but don't get much radio airplay. I picked up tracks by Flogging Molly, Steve Vai, and KMFDM on launch day.

      When they say that they're going to be more "selective" with the music they pick up, I'm guessing that's the direction they'll go in. It doesn't necessarily mean they'll be using worse bands or less good music - it more likely means that you'll be seeing less of Metallica in favor of more Mastodon, things along that line. And I wouldn't have a huge issue with that.
      • Don't forget about the always awesome Jonathan Coulton [jonathancoulton.com] as well. On topic: Yeah, I don't really care about getting more "selective" with the music. The things I care most about are new features within the game engine itself.
      • And along that point, it's worth reminding people that the Rock Band Network just launched, making it even easier for those bands to get on there. The downside being that you'll have to rely on community rating to show up among the crowd of other bands on there - there were a 100 tracks released on launch of the

        And I'd like to point out that the RBN is for XBox, less than 1/3 of the user base, with no guarantee that any particular song will show up in the Sony and Nintendo stores after a minimum of a month. No, RBN is a slap in the face to 2/3 of the RB players, a big negative in my books.

        • Considering the install base of the 360 versus the PS3 in America, and the dull support for DLC songs on the Wii, are you seriously saying that only 1/3 of the Rock Band fanbase plays it on the 360? I would imagine it's a much greater proportion than that, and that they served the most of their fans by getting it to the 360 first.
          • by Sparton (1358159)

            What about the potential install base for people like me who have the Wii and that feature would would sway them into buying Rock Band? I've stuck with Guitar Hero since Harmonix/EA seems intent on flipping the bird to Wii owners (later releases, removed features, etc).

    • Why would ANYONE charge to be in Rock Band?

      the band may be all for it, but the copyright holder of the recording and also the actual composer of the song/melody are the ones who pull the strings here... a band may not have any rights at all to their classic performances... albums/singles created as work for hire and songs they didn't write either...

  • Next thing you know there will be a Rock Band DJ Guitar Hero mashup super collection.
  • Contracting Sales (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dunezone (899268) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @08:19AM (#31425084) Journal

    ...the once-booming genre of peripheral-equipped music games. Although the franchise has generated over $1 billion to date, the category in general saw sales contract by as much as half throughout 2009

    Maybe its because the same peripherals could be used from Rock Band with Rock Band 2? The upfront cost of the game initially is expensive but once you have the guitars, microphone, and drum set the cost is significantly cheaper to move to a new edition and that's where the sales start to contract. The same goes for the Guitar Hero series also.

    Personally, I think the genre has entered its maturity when it comes to growth and needs some drastic change or needs to evolve into something different. One solution might be introducing new peripherals but they need more advanced peripherals because at this point you need to justify paying for another 15 pounds of plastic.

    • One solution might be introducing new peripherals but they need more advanced peripherals because at this point you need to justify paying for another 15 pounds of plastic.

      The justification is breakage. The plastic drums are a joke and few last beyond a year of usage. The plastic guitars are almost as bad. However, I agree completely that they need to produce more advanced peripherals. While you can use a "real" electronic drum kit via a midi interface, the guitar is still a toy without strings.

    • I read an article a few months ago that suddenly became relevant. Original Article (behind register wall) [chicagotribune.com] Dhani Harrison [wikipedia.org], told the Chicago Tribune in an interview that he is "working on 'Rock Band 3' and making the controllers more real so people can actually learn how to play music while playing the game".

      I cannot find reference to it anywhere else. If true, it could make it worth looking at.
  • That's got to be the most disheartening game release article I've ever read. "Our parent company think we're hemorrhaging money and we can't afford to put cool songs in the game because record labels are dumb, but uhhhh, yeah, we're gonna go ahead and do another game." I mean, what's the WoW2 release gonna look like?

    "We at Blizzard are proud to announce that World of Warcraft 2 will be in stores on.....ahhh fuck it. Who are we kidding? We're just ripping money off of fat, friendless losers and people with OCD. Blah, blah, blah, enhanced 3d vectors and more elf chicks for creepy douchebags to write fanfic over. Have you read our support forums? Seriously? We're supposed to feel good about creating this shit for these people? Whoopee, we're bumping up the level caps so more 12 year olds can live in front of a monitor drinking mountain dew for hours on end instead of going outside. Huzzah!

    Dude, Is this all there is to life? I mean, fuck, man, I'm gonna turn 40 soon and this is all I do? Write bullshit copy for gamer rags. I was gonna do something with my life, I was gonna be something. Screw it man, I'm gonna go drink alone......

    Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher founded in February 1991, and has published such hits as Starcraft and Diablo.

  • You know what music industry? They just launched the Rock Band Network [wikipedia.org], which means any band that wants to be in the game can be now. You just got major competition in this area, so if you want get pissy and refuse to license your tracks for the game, that's fine. There's over 1100 songs available as of right now, plus over 100 available on RBN and it just launched a week ago. Getting your song on the disc itself is guaranteed sales, as most everybody playing RB right now will likely pick up the next ve
  • ...make it so I can import music I already own, so I don't have to buy the songs yet again.
    • Also, add a keyboard!!!
    • make it so I can import music I already own

      What did you mean by this? If you own copyright in the composition and the recording, you can spend $1,000 for the XNA devkit (dual core PC + Windows OS + Xbox 360 + Creators Club + Live Gold) and put the songs on Rock Band Network. If you merely own a copy, it probably isn't split-track, so how would the game know what frequencies to play when you miss a note?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      make it so I can import music I already own, so I don't have to buy the songs yet again.

      I think having to buy the songs again is the whole point for them.

  • by sorak (246725) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:10AM (#31426316)

    So, what happened in 2009?

    Rock Band 2 was released in 2008, and had some time to die down before 2009. Same for Guitar Hero World tour.

    Harmonix released Beatles Rock Band. Were they expecting that to do as well as Rock Band 2? The only logic I can see to Beatles Rock Band is that maybe they are hoping that Beatles fans are like Star Trek fans; there are some compulsive enough to pay any price for anything branded with their favorite franchise. (Before you get angry, The Beatles could have made a great series of track packs, but you cannot expect one band to carry half the industry).

    I own Guitar Hero 5. It's alright, but most reviews complained about a weak song list, and Guitar Hero Van Halen didn't exactly bring people to stores.

    So, is it possible that the decline was due to a weak offering in 2009? These companies are shooting themselves in the foot by providing an even weaker offering in 2010.

  • I never understood the popularity of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or Dance Dance Revolution. To me, they are all just rehashes of Simon. The machine gives you a sequence of buttons to push and then you push the buttons in the same sequence that the machine tells you.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's basically how that experiences meshes up with the fact that the gems are synched to the actual notes in the song, for the most part.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tholomyes (610627)
      str_replace("machine", "sheet music", $comment)
    • by God_TM (770659)
      Anyone who has friends, and hosts a Rock Band party will attest to the fun factor, even though it's a fancy version of Simon... Think of it as a group version of Simon, where you can also hum along to your favorite tunes and just enjoy the atmosphere as your friends play. It captivates audiences, not just the players...
    • For myself and friends, it's like Alcohol fueled Karaoke night, plus score keeping. How is there not appeal there?

      tl, dr: Never play Rock Band alone, sober, or on a difficulty above "Medium".

    • by Jer (18391)

      It's a party game. A fun thing to break out when you've got family or friends over for a visit and want to do something sociable. More fun than Monopoly, and depending on how competitive your family is, less argument inducing. But unless you're the kind of person who enjoys games like Simon, you're not going to have fun playing it by yourself. (And, yes, there are people who like games like Simon believe it or not).

      This is actually why I think both Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been seeing reduced sale

  • Is it any wonder that the booming economy is in $10 iPhone games when we have a recession where people don't want to spend loads of money on something that just might suck?!?

    The song/peripheral games market is saturated and people that play these games with groups of people don't need more than what they already have.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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