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Rock Band 4 PC Funding Campaign Comes Up Well Short, Developer Responds

"There doesn’t seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now."


[UPDATE] Harmonix has now posted an update in response to the failed crowdfunding campaign for Rock Band 4's PC version. The developer thanked fans for their support, but acknowledged that there does not appear to be as much interest in a PC version as Harmonix imagined.

Below is a segment from the statement, while the full memo can be read here on Fig.

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"Let's start by thanking our supporters. We knew we could rely on our community to back us, engage with us, ask us questions, and spread the word to their friends. Even those of you who didn't back weren't shy about telling us what we were doing right and wrong. A big 'Thank You' to all of you.

"How do we feel about the end of the campaign? Disappointed, obviously. There's no shortage of people at Harmonix who love Rock Band, and some of us got extra excited at the prospect of bringing back RBN, and even more about getting the chance to expose RB to a brand new audience.

"But at the same time we learned exactly what we needed to learn: there doesn't seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now. We're committed to supporting and improving RB4 on consoles. To be clear, we raised nearly $800,000 via backers and investors; it's an impressive showing of support from our community and for our brand.

"But as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we're not sure has a big enough audience, and crowdfunding allowed us to (among other things) judge the market fit for Rock Band PC."

The original story is below.

Gamers hopeful for a PC version of Rock Band 4 appear to be out of luck. The game's crowdfunding campaign on Fig has ended--and it came up well short.

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Harmonix was looking to raise $1.5 million, but only managed to attract $792,817, which is just 52 percent of the target. A total of 1,674 people contributed to the campaign over a period of 35 days. Fig, like Kickstarter, is all-or-nothing, so no money will be collected.

The bulk of the funding for Rock Band 4's PC campaign came from investments ($592,000), while the remaining $201,000 was from traditional pledges. Fig is unique in that in addition to Kickstarter-style backing, people can actually invest in a game and ultimately share in its success through equity.

Things weren't looking good for Rock Band 4's PC campaign, as it needed to raise more than $750,000 with just 24 hours to go.

The raised money, had it been successful, would have been used to pay LittleBigPlanet and Dead Island 2 developer Sumo Digital to port the game to PC. The full cost of development would be $2,000,000, and Harmonix said it would provide the other $500,000 if it reached its goal.

About halfway through the campaign, Harmonix added a new reward tier that would give people the entire DLC song library if they paid $2,500.

Harmonix said in a Reddit AMA that, even if funding for Rock Band 4's PC edition came up short, it wasn't going to abandon the PC platform altogether.

"It's more about whether or not it makes sense to bring a future game to the platform," the developer said. "Rock Band VR is coming to Oculus, which is obviously PC, and I can definitely see other titles fitting nicely on PC as well."

Rock Band 4 released last year on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was scored a 7 in GameSpot's review, which said "[a] lack of content and general stagnation hold this particular iteration of Rock Band back, but new ideas like Freestyle Solos genuinely enhance the core experience."

Harmonix isn't new to crowdfunding. The developer sought funding for another rhythm game, Amplitude, back in 2014. It was a successful campaign, raising over $800,000.

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