CES: No new Rock Band in '09

Harmonix cofounder says studio's primary focus will be creating Beatles project and downloadable content this year; 30 million songs downloaded.

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In October, MTV Games and Harmonix scored a monumental win in the rhythm game arms race by announcing an exclusive collaboration with Apple Corps. to create a game based on the catalog of Liverpool supergroup The Beatles. Rather than a spin-off Rock Band along the lines of the AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack, Harmonix cofounder Alex Rigopulos emphasized that the Beatles game--due holiday 2009--would be an all-new music game "built from the ground up."

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As it would turn out, Harmonix has opted to sideline any new installments in its Rock Band franchise for 2009 to focus on the Beatles project. Following online reports, MTV has confirmed for GameSpot that though Harmonix will continue its weekly Rock Band and Rock Band 2 downloadable-song releases, it does not plan to release any new installments in the series this year.

"Within the context of that question, Alex did make those comments, and that The Beatles game is the priority (but not our only project for 2009, as we will continue to release our weekly Rock Band [downloadable content])," said a MTV games representative. "It's important to note that he also stated to the audience that 'Rock Band 3' does not yet exist as an official project."

Rigopulos' comments came today by way of a Q&A session during the Billboard Digital Music Live panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The noted game designer also revealed during the panel that song downloads for Rock Band and Rock Band 2 had reached the 30 million unit marker, according to PaidContent.org. Rigopulos also addressed the issue of additional peripherals for Harmonix's rhythm games, saying that the addition of a keyboard remained a "maybe."

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