Rock Band may undergo 'creative reinterpretation' - Harmonix

Rhythm game studio hints at sweeping changes to approach of future titles, open to working with Activision on the "right thing."

The rhythm-game genre has lost much of its rock star status since its Guitar Hero and Rock Band heyday. However, Harmonix, which created both of those franchises, appears intent on getting the band back together.

Rock Band's next act may have an altogether new look.

In an interview with Giant Bomb conducted by a former employee of the studio, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos, CTO Eran Egozy, and VP of product development Greg LoPiccolo spoke about future plans for the Rock Band franchise. As part of that interview, Rigopulos indicated that the studio plans to heavily tinker with its approach to the rhythm-game genre in years to come.

"In the short term, we're basically continuing to attend to that business as we have been," Rigopulos said. "In the longer term, looking into next year, we're actually considering fairly fundamental creative reinterpretation of what the Rock Band business is."

Egozy expanded on the possible future direction for the franchise. "You might assume we're going to add saxophone or something along those lines, but no, the kind of direction we're planning on taking Rock Band, the kind of innovation we have in mind, is taking it in a different direction...one that's more suitable to the kind of environment we're in, what people are doing now, what they're interested in playing now, versus, say, 2007."

Rigopulos also spoke about the battle for music game supremacy between Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and he said past rivalries won't inform future business decisions. If the "right thing" were to come along, working with Activision would not be out of the question.

Harmonix's most recent game--the Kinect-enabled Dance Central 2--hit store shelves for the Xbox 360 today. The studio has not formally indicated whether it is developing a follow-up to 2010's Rock Band 3. However, in May, Rigopulos said that the studio is still developing new ideas and concepts to advance the Rock Band franchise."

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Discussion

47 comments
Pizza1962
Pizza1962

BoabDreeps. If you don't like this kind of game, why are you reading this article?

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

i agree with drswank! AMPLITUDE FTW!!!!! xD I don't want an overhaul, i want game with an actual setlist that's good!

drswank
drswank

I have an idea. Amplitude 2! :P

Xeogua
Xeogua

I wonder what they're going do to. There really isn't much else that I could imagine them doing. Although, I wish they would just quit censoring all the songs that need it. If a song needs censoring, then the subject matter is probably something a kid doesn't need to hear anyway.

coolmike999
coolmike999

What I get from this article is that they have no idea what to do next.

Devil_dante03
Devil_dante03

hmm....I would love to see activision join back up they definitly made the best controllers ever..I still only use my explorer controller...:)

Daian
Daian

They need to do what Rocksmith is doing. Period. Playing with plastic toys is for 5 year olds, learning how to play an actual guitar until u are actually good is not only fun but so much more satisfying.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

The crew at Harmonix really know their stuff. It can be a bit tricky successfully bringing it to market and keeping profits up, but they've definite come up with some genuinely unique and fun ideas. Can't wait to see what they bring out next.

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

So long as they continue to support pro guitar with good DLC I'll be happy! This weekend I'm gonna finally learn how to play the solos in I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness! :D

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

The old way these games were sold is outdated, they'd need to have support for any and all instruments released for RB 1-3 as well as GH games. they also can't keep charging an arm and a leg for extra songs, I mean if your going to add to the playlist why not add to all aspects of the game like new venues and more features in character creator........

vega13mv
vega13mv

A more intuitive tutorial for pro instruments would be much appreciated

JarOfGunz
JarOfGunz

Brand new Rock Band (ie BF3 styled visuals, including pro instruments including the keyboard, all Beatles songs + more)

RBwd
RBwd

i just want guitar hero iron maiden

EvilEvilDave
EvilEvilDave

Honestly I hope they figure out a way to do it with Kinect. Breaking out the closet full of instruments just feels "old" now. Also, more interesting gameplay then the "match the colored circles" that I felt killed the games. I've been following the genre since the first DDR; but perephrials are old news now, and clutter closets. Let's find a way to make playing air-guitar style fun and interesting.

ddelella
ddelella

1. Must be able to use both real and plastic instruments 2. Lower prices on the plastic instruments 3. Lower prices per song for DLC and packs 4. Longer more dynamic campaign 5. Better, more dynamic, online features such as contests, daily challenges, etc. 6. Free import of previous music library 7. Better training for all instruments to help teach in addition to just learning how to play It will need all the following to succeed.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

Oh yeah and while I'm at it... I play computer games for 3 main reasons (in no particular order): 1- To do stuff that I can't afford to do in real life 2- To do stuff that would get me killed in real life 3- To do stuff that would land me in jail in real life If I really want to play in a band, why would I go about this by rythmicly pressing buttons on a guitar shaped controller? Trying the real thing isn't limited by my 3 points above. If I really want to have a dance, why would I mimic dance moves on a games console. Going off to a real dance class, or popping down to the local night club is also not prohibited by my 3 principles of gaming and may also result in a 'hot coffee' style bonus mini game. Thank you for listening

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

Oh God please! Wipe this scourge of a game genre from the face of the planet so that it may sadden my eyes no longer. Nothing more depressing than looking to see what games are out and all that's new is some stupid music game. The adverts also make me shout obscenities at my TV and take the Lords name in vain. Please God hear my prayers. Amen.

franzito
franzito

Changes might not be for the better sometimes...

Triton
Triton

Gee, I hope whatever it is, they charge me extra to port the songs I already paid for over to the next version.

Slipknotfan11
Slipknotfan11

Been Waiting For a new Rock Band!!! Just Please Dont Kill Rock Band... =(

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Just don't kill Rock Band. I love that series. What a great way to get friends together. Jam on plastic instruments while jumping and spinning and general goofing off in true rocker fashion. It is good that they are going to try to shake things up a bit though. Hope it works for the better.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I hope this doesn't end up killing Rock band like Guitar Hero was.

KillerBill316
KillerBill316

If working with Activision is even a possibility, you're already heading the wrong direction.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

If they're looking to doing the right thing, the right thing will be to not work with a company that'll try and push out five versions of the same game in a single year and call it "quality". Activision destroyed not only Guitar Hero, but Tony Hawk with this horrible horrible strategy.

BloodMist
BloodMist

In other words they're going to be copying Rocksmith in some not so subtle ways.With damn good reason, of course.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

"the kind of innovation we have in mind, is taking it in a different direction, one that's more suitable to the kind of environment we're in, what people are doing now, what they're interested in playing now, versus, say, 2007." So it's going to be an fps with overpriced map packs now?

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

I have a lot of DLC that I just hope I can still use for whatever new game they dish out. Oh and don't do pro instruments unless you can go all the way. Pro guitar is awesome, pro keyboard I was dissapointed with.

nickythenewt21
nickythenewt21

Put out more albums for Beatles Rock Band. That's all I want!

CCGR_Pheonix
CCGR_Pheonix

This makes me so excited for Harmonix. I love the company so much, and I now can look forward to something new and fresh from them in the rhythm gaming industry.

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

If they make a Rock Band 4. Get rid of the unlocking clothes/guitars thing. Just have it use the money system so players can buy what they want. Also perhaps make the story mode more deeper. Try to simulate the whole band feeling more.

Lockedge
Lockedge

I'm glad it's still hanging in there. I buy a lot of dlc, love the game to bits! Best comprehensive party videogame I own

JadeNic
JadeNic

I think it would be amazing if they could somehow combine the Rocksmith Real Tone Cable technology with Rock Bands already large pro guitar/bass library and gameplay.

KingBobCat
KingBobCat

Not a rant, a good comment, Souliest. I am also an amature musician and welcome RB3's approach with the keys and real Strat. I was late to the party (never liked the plastic guitar or drums) and maybe because of that, I'm not as burnt out as everyone else appears to be with RB, in general. I actually still look forward to certain DLC and have a blast with it when it comes out. Glad to hear from the developers that they are keeping it all alive. Someone has to be buying the DLC or they'd quit making it. Right?

Souliest
Souliest

I've been a huge fan of the Rock Band franchise. When they announced keys for Rock Band 3, as a longtime amateur keyboard player I was thrilled: I thought they were planning on taking it further with the whole "Pro" thing, but to me, they didn't go far enough. And now, I find myself hoping that someone releases Rocksmith for keyboard, where you get to plug a real keyboard, and learn COMPLETE song parts, not just 2-octave riffs. Rock Band is great, but after the party is over, I need something more substantial. End of today's rant.

zyxahn
zyxahn

They all just ran it into the ground with to many of them. I still play the Beatles, Metallica and VanHalen games as well as RB3. Because it's like listening to them on the radio or Cd or Mp3 player but with another dimension of participation that doesn't require to much. That's why I love them and still think there needs to be at least 1 every 2 years or just have bigger and better DLC. So now just get more Beatles stuff out, I don't care if it's 1 song just something. Yes they can put some Harrison solo stuff on one of them. Still waiting for ELO.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

You know what I say? I say "Do It!" Do you know why? I just spent the last 3 hours trying to get Guitar Hero DLC to work properly. I pretty much ate $40. Activision has lost a die hard Guitar Hero fanboy, in that their DLC, which is much smaller than Rock Band in the amount of content, doesn't freaking work if you get the Smash Hits Import pack. Keep Guitar Hero dead, bring back Rock Band.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

@LoadedTuna You do know Rock Band 3 had pro mode for a real guitar? It was flawed but they provided the foundations for it.

daabulls23
daabulls23

"fundamental creative reinterpretation" This makes me go "hmmm" and "ughhhh" at the same time.

waflerevolution
waflerevolution

bring back a decent tour mode and I'll be happy... RB3 is nothing but quickplay and repetitive tasks... with awful on-disc songs... if Kinect comes into the picture, I'm done with RB forever. Kinect is for kids and non-gamers.

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

Good. Now it won't turn into another Guitar Hero. Good move, Harmonix.

LoadedTuna
LoadedTuna

i read this as "harmonix notices rocksmith's success with a new approach, and now hopes to cash in on *borrowed* innovation"

EPaul
EPaul

I would wait till next gen, people are burned out on Music except if they some kind of motion controls like Just Dance or Dance central

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

"...what they're interested in playing now, versus..." Coulda stopped talking right there. Bring back Score Duel dammit!