Licensing to blame for Aussie Rock Band delay: Harmonix

Music licenses for Rock Band store caused year-long release delay in Australia; Harmonix compares release to iTunes Store hassles.

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Australians haven't had much luck with Rock Band so far, with the popular four-person rhythm game still not on store shelves despite being out for almost a year in the US and almost six months in Europe. The game has been finally dated for local release on November 7, which is cold comfort considering its sequel--Rock Band 2--has already been released stateside. While the companies behind the game--MTV, Harmonix, and distributor EA--have kept quiet on exactly why Rock Band has been so delayed down under, it hasn't stopped pundits (including Red Octane head and Guitar Hero cocreator Charles Huang) from assuming manufacturing headaches with Rock Band's peripherals as the reason for the long release lag.

It seems manufacturing may not be the sole cause, however. In an interview with GameSpot AU, Harmonix's Dan Teasdale (who is the lead designer on Rock Band 2) pushed the blame to difficulties in obtaining music licenses for different regions. Teasdale compared the situation to Apple's hassles with launching a local version of the iTunes store (the Australian iTunes store launched in October 2005, almost two years after its launch in the US).

"[The Rock Band Music Platform releases] new songs every week from a wide range of artists, which really adds depth, breadth, and choice into people’s music libraries. Unfortunately for everyone outside the US, this is the same thing that delayed us from releasing for a few months. Just like sorting out music licenses delayed Apple from releasing iTunes in Australia for a while, it also hit us in establishing the Rock Band Music Platform in Australia. The good news is we’ve sorted out all of those issues, and we’re ready to not only unleash over 500 songs onto everyone this Christmas, but also release our future titles like the AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack within weeks of our US releases," he said.

Discussion

32 comments
jjdomo
jjdomo

GH didn't have this problem because the company has been doing business with previous GH games for years now. This is RB's first attempt so they had trouble. Blame it on the Aussie govt and licensing entities for all the red tape.

the_hulk_05
the_hulk_05

From what i have heard .. RB may be the better product of the two. People have stated that their GHWT drums are very unresponsive , and the hi-hats are actually snapping off.

Poidad
Poidad

too little too late.

Thewbacca
Thewbacca

Oh well. Its times like this I'm glad I can import American Ps3 games.

Thewbacca
Thewbacca

Yeah, sounds like they're making up excuses to me.

Martin-2-5-9
Martin-2-5-9

Guitar hero never had this problem, so why do Rock band?

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

If this was the case - why didn't they sort this out while making the game? In all honesty, EA, Harmonix and MTV together is a huge collaboration - surely together they could have made it happen?

huntercal
huntercal

It's really stupid how these companies don't learn from others mistakes. The release being now November 7 is simply die to fact that the folks behind Rock Band are simply ignorant and stupid! I am definitely getting Guitar Hero World Tour because the Rock Band People have screwed us over through incompetence

MonkeyWrench127
MonkeyWrench127

Okay then, so where the hell is Rock Band 2 in Europe and Australia if they've "sorted out all of those issues"??????

witide
witide

That looks great, thanks for the info.

Pork_Lord
Pork_Lord

Oh so I guess they got all that licensing done coincidentally so they could launch it here five days before GH:WT? Yeah right..

storminmormon51
storminmormon51

While I definitely feel for our Aussie friends, at least they've worked it out for future releases. Plus, all the DLC is coming out right away. Wallets are gonna explode lol

BOZ_10
BOZ_10

Well I'm getting Guitar Hero World tour and if I do get Rock band it will be GAME ONLY. I don't want there old instruments they are old technology and probably wont work with Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2. But what they should of done was just release Rock Band as Game only and then released Rock Band 2 in the super bundles on the same day as Guitar Hero then they would of been able to compete with Guitar Hero world tour and maybe even overtake them. It would be so stupid of anyone to buy the complete bundle of Rock Band 1 with the old drum kit when they can get better more update instruments 5 days later with Guitar Hero World Tour. So Because of this I'm getting Guitar Hero World Tour with the Guitar, drums and Mic on the 12/11/08 and if I do buy Rock Band 1 it will be game only and when Rock Band 2 eventually comes out in Australia that will only be game only also. It better not take another year for Rock Band 2 because we as Australian gamers have waited long enough so They should release Rock Band 2 before Christmas if they want to maximise sales down under.

Poona_basic
Poona_basic

Where is the interview that this article mentions?

Hiyoal
Hiyoal

@pillazz Amen Man!! I hate that we always get the games last...everytime!! I get burnout the day it comes out...people are around in F1 cars absolutely destroying the races while i have no choice but to go into single player and build up my career. I get MGS4 on the day it comes out and when I look online before going into single player, there are already at least 14 clans out while making a clan requires a person to get to level 3...How can someone (even pro) get to level 3 in around 4hrs time difference from Australia?? NO ONE! Because it was released earlier in other countries... -____- Im not getting RB, im getting GHWT on the 21st (my Bday) because they have already proven to me that they make quality products (while some may still be buggy, the majority is fine) I got GH3 and it was awesome...ive never had any stuff ups with the controllers or game. Hiyoal

witide
witide

EB Games is only selling it if you pre-order it where I live.

Matthewest
Matthewest

When I asked my local game shop about it, they made no comment but encouraged me to buy guitar hero...

Smoov_B
Smoov_B

Good news for Aussies. Those of you crying foul need to understand how complex the music industry and licensing agreements are. Music publishers can be real jerks about how music is used not to mention extremely greedy. Getting a fair deal out of them is a big challenge.

adders99
adders99

this is not on.... if guitar hero can do it all... so should rockband.

monkeyd_93
monkeyd_93

Very weak excuse, the only reason they put it out before GHWT one week earlier so they could still have a chance of gaining consumers, i say too little too late and it surely wouldnt take almost a year to get licenses geez

witide
witide

I call BS. If they can release RB 1 now, then they should be able to release RB2 as well.

pillazz
pillazz

Absolute rubbish...how come Guitar Hero don't have this problem? Its a way of making Australia the dumping ground for unsold units of RB1...or do Harmonix really think we are that stupid? Buy this game Australia and we will always be playing catch up...send out a clear message and avoid!!!

Mardil
Mardil

maybe because rock band is more solid than guitar hero: WT. I have both (WT peripherals, RB2 disc) and I've had alot more fun with RB2. Charts are more fun, drums are great, the singing is not impossible (if you don't know the song in GH:WT, there's no way you can make it through on medium without scoring like 70%) They should release RB1 and RB2 in a bundle.

Felmo_07
Felmo_07

exactly right vampyre1985

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

If they cared then we would be seeing Rock Band 2 being released next week.

vampyre1985
vampyre1985

i doubt we will see rock band 2 for ages... why would anyone buy rock band 1 when GH:WT comes out the next week... very weak

jazzyrider
jazzyrider

Gotta feel for those guys over in Aussie land. Rock on!

ffe_neo
ffe_neo

Fingers crossed we get RB2 soon'ish.

doolies
doolies

"The good news is we’ve sorted out all of those issues, and we’re ready to not only unleash over 500 songs onto everyone this Christmas" Does this mean that Rock Band 2 will see our shores before the end of the year?