It's no secret that getting music into a big-time rhythm game can spark significant sales for aspiring and established artists. Until now, the biggest problem for those wanting to get in on the action was cracking the games' tightly controlled setlists. That looks to change soon, as MTV Games and Harmonix today announced Rock Band Network, a program that lets bands prepare and release their own tracks for sale as downloadable content in the game.
Beginning later this year, anyone with a song, some technical know-how, and an XNA Creators Club membership will have a shot at selling their Rock Band tracks to the masses and walk away with a cut of the proceeds. Using the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation program (available for $225), musicians will be able to take their master-track recordings and add note charts for each instrument.
Once the note tracks are in place, users will be able to upload it to the Rock Band Network Web site as part of the Xbox 360's XNA Creators Club, which has a $49.99 four-month membership or $99.99 annual membership. There the track will go through peer review from other Creators Club members. After earning approval from that community, the song will go up on the Rock Band downloadable song store. According to a Billboard Online report, musicians will be able to price their songs between $.50 and $3 and will receive a 30 percent cut of the sales.
The tracks will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band for at least 30 days, but MTV Games has said some songs may find their way to the PlayStation 3 and Wii editions of the game. The publisher also has plans to help artists promote their songs on the service, but it isn't offering details on that just yet.