Harmonix Enables Artists to Get Music in Rock Band
Harmonix and MTV Games today announced the Rock Band Network, a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians and record labels the ability to author their own original recordings into gameplay files and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the newly-created Rock Band Network Music Store. The introduction of the Rock Band Network marks a fundamental shift in the exposure music games can give emerging and established artists through innovative technologies that will open new revenue streams and promotional avenues.
“Our goal with Rock Band has always been to go beyond making music games and create a true music platform,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix. “With the Rock Band Network, we’ve evolved the platform to its next logical step, giving players access to an incredible amount of new music by putting the professional tools we use in the hands of the artists themselves.”
The Rock Band Network will launch as an open beta in late August 2009 in the U.S. and provide a sophisticated toolset, with detailed documentation on how bands can begin the process of authoring songs into Rock Band gameplay files. Authors will be able to submit tracks for playtesting and peer review via a specialized Web site, Creators.RockBand.com. Potential publishers will need a membership to Microsoft’s XNA Creators Club Online in order to test and publish game content. The service will only be available to those who purchase a premium membership to Microsoft’s XNA Creators Club Online, which can be purchased for four months at $49.99 or for a year at $99.99.
Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where millions of Rock Band fans will be able to demo samples of the songs for free before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days. Artists featured in the store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and will be compensated via a simple payment system that provides automated accounting and regular royalty payments. Tracks for the Rock Band Network will be made available later in the fall on the Xbox 360. Stand out tracks will follow on the PlayStation 3 and Wii.