Rock Band was one of the most well received games of E3 this year, with the four-player music game garnering kudos from many critics. While gamers in the US have a tentative release date of the fourth quarter of 2007 to look forward to, wannabe rockers in other nations have had no such date tagged by game developer Harmonix, publisher MTV, and distributor EA.
Gamers outside of the US may have to wait until 2008 to get their Rock Band fix, at least if the speculation of one of the key brains behind the competing Guitar Hero franchise comes true. In an interview with GameSpot AU, RedOctane cofounder and chief operating officer Charles Huang has predicted that “multiple territories...will not see Rock Band this Christmas.”
"I have two predictions: One is I don't think [Rock Band] will actually ship this Christmas in Australia and New Zealand, and secondly, I think if it does, the retail price of that will be at least probably A$275, and it'll be very interesting to see," Huang said.
Huang attributes any possible release delays to peripheral manufacturing output, going on to suggest the delay could reach beyond the Asia-Pacific region. RedOctane is the maker of the guitar peripherals used in the Guitar Hero series, as well as being the official publisher of the games.
"We've had many, many years of working with peripherals and we know how difficult it is to produce sufficient quantities for a worldwide launch. I'm not singling out Australia--probably it will be multiple territories that will not see Rock Band this Christmas is my guess. It took us a tremendous amount of effort and a tremendous amount of time to increase the factory production. It took Nintendo a tremendous amount of time and effort to increase Wii production. Those things, done by companies with years of experience, are difficult, and to come straight out of the gate globally--even on two platforms--is extremely challenging, especially with all the technology that's involved with 360 and PS3," he said.
An EA Australia representative declined to confirm a release date for Rock Band down under. "We can't confirm that either way at the moment. What it's down to is the development of the peripherals, so we can't confirm either way whether it will be this year or next year. It's all up to how quickly they can develop those peripherals for us," he said.
Check out the full interview with Charles Huang by clicking here.
[UPDATE:] When contacted by GameSpot UK, an EA representative said, "We don't think [Rock Band] will be released in Q4." GameSpot will bring you further details as soon as they are available.