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Music Media Entertainment Games

Rock Band To Allow Independent Artists To Add Their Own Songs 57

Bakkster writes "Independent artists will be able to use the XNA Creator's Club to produce the Rock Band note-charts for their music and sell them in game later this year. Bands will use their original song masters and generate a MIDI file that produces the game 'gems' to which players can follow along. Tracks must pass a review process with other XNA members, and then a final approval from MTV Games. Songs will be sold for between 50 cents and $3, with the artist getting a 30% cut after MTV and Microsoft take their cut. The best tracks will also make their way to the Wii and PS3 after a 30-day exclusive period."
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Rock Band To Allow Independent Artists To Add Their Own Songs

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  • by Capt. Cooley ( 1438063 ) <> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @01:44AM (#28738523) Journal
    the artists still get recognition, though, from having their songs available in the game. and if the song gets popular enough, that can translate into itunes and amazon mp3 downloads, and possibly into album sales.
  • This is a big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shannara256 ( 262093 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:07AM (#28738833) Homepage

    This is a HUGE win for everyone: Harmonix the company, Rock Band the games, all of the musicians, and us as players. It's a blend of the iTunes music store and the iTunes app store, both of which were ground-breaking, genre-defining, and they both remain hugely profitable to everyone involved. This is going to let them build up their music library to be even bigger, and it was already large compared to Guitar Hero: World Tour's.

    So far, both RB and GH:WT have been founded on songs sequenced by the game creators. While they've done a good job, and I can't really see another way to get started, it can never scale. There's so much music -- even when you limit the pool to music that can be fairly accurately portrayed by the combination of guitarist, bassist, drummer, and vocalist -- that this approach can only ever be a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket. Releasing the sequencing tools allows for crowd-sourcing, which scales very well indeed. There is going to be so much music available now that never was and never reasonably could be expected to have been made available via the old model.

    I expect that indie musicians, and the savvier mainstream groups (I'm thinking of Radiohead here), will be the first ones in the door. If the record labels know anything about anything (which might be an unreasonable expectation), they'll eventually get in on this too.

    I see two potential problems with this. One is that this could possibly limit their future expansion plans. Presumably there will be a Rock Band 3, and I would expect it to add features from RB: Beatles like multi-part harmonies. If songs are sequenced for RB2, will they be updated to take advantage of newly features in the future? It's very easy to imagine idiotic record labels getting all their stuff in once, with mediocre quality, and then never updating them. Harmonix is going to have to exercise its veto power a lot -- both to keep quality high, and to delay songs that really need upcoming improvements to be played the way they deserve to be.

    The other problem I see is that the Wii and PS2/3 platforms are getting screwed. It'd be one thing if there were ONLY a delay between releasing on the Xbox and releasing on the other platforms -- that'd be ok. But releasing on the Xbox, and then maybe sometimes releasing on the other two, depending on some vaguely-defined metric? That's completely the wrong approach, and sounds like holdover thinking from the old way of doing things. Who's going to judge which tracks are eligible to be transferred to the other systems? At some level, that's always going to end up as judging the song, and more importantly imposing that judgment on the users (the paying customers!) of the other systems. I can't think of a valid reason to segregate the fanbase this way, and I think if they stick to this plan it will come back to bite them.

    Still, based on the initial announcement... huge, HUGE win.

  • by bugnuts ( 94678 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:50AM (#28738991) Journal

    You write your music. You play your music. You convert your music into the game. We take the profit.
    Note also how it says they get a 30% cut AFTER mtv and microsoft take theirs.

    I'm curious... as opposed to what? Not converting your music and being guaranteed of getting nothing?

    If you write your music, and play your music at a venue, would you expect to not pay the venue first?

  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:13AM (#28739275) Homepage Journal
    What about artists who don't want to charge money for their work?
  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheCowSaysMooNotBoo ( 997535 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:22AM (#28739313)
    You mean the music the "unwashed masses" want/get because they don't know better?
  • by Helios1182 ( 629010 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @12:05PM (#28741321)

    Even if they don't make money it is cheap advertising. A weekend of setting up the track and $100 to register is cheap, and it will likely result in some sales and better recognition. Most independent artists suffer from a lack of visibility -- it is hard to sell records if no one has heard of you. This might help them out in that area a little bit.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.