Last February, an Activision conference call revealed the existence of the Wii edition of Guitar Hero. Though unsurprising, the announcement was welcomed by owners of the still-scarce console looking to embrace their inner Yngwie Malmsteen. Despite a very public disc recall, it was also immensely profitable. The Wii edition of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock sold over 1.2 million units and generated $110 million in the US alone through December 31, 2007.
Today, a post-earnings-report conference call held by Electronic Arts revealed the existence of a Wii version of Rock Band, developed by Guitar Hero creators Harmonix. Though Rock Band is officially published by MTV Games, EA distributes the game via its EA Partners program, and will apparently do the same with the Wii edition.
"One of the things I'm very proud of is the partnership between Electronic Arts and MTV," said EA CEO John Riccitiello to analysts. "In terms of pacing the next few quarters, you're probably well aware of the more than $2.5 million music downloads that have occurred on Rock Band. What's probably the most interesting pieces right now is the coming launch on the Wii, the continued sale of the core platforms in North America, and then the fiscal '09 launch across Europe against all of the SKU. So, frankly for the balance of our Q4 and the first half of fiscal '09, Rock Band is a key focus." (Emphasis added.)
Riccitiello's comments confirm the existence of the Wii Rock Band and the fact that it will be released in the 12 months after April 1, when EA's 2009 financial year begins. Unfortunately, no other information was made available about the game, and inquiries sent to EA and Harmonix representatives were unanswered as of press time.