Rock Band to rock on, says Harmonix

Developer calls Guitar Hero discontinuation "discouraging," touts continuing investment in its own rhythm franchise.


It's been a rough month for the former superstars of the rhythm genre. Rock Band label MTV Games ceased its publishing operations, which was shortly followed by the game's recently sold developer, Harmonix, laying off up to 15 percent of its staff. The capper came yesterday, as Activision disbanded its Guitar Hero business unit, confirming that there would be no 2011 installment in the franchise and the company will stop making new downloadable songs for the Hero franchise of games.

With the fall of Guitar Hero, it's time for Rock Band to take an extended solo.
With the fall of Guitar Hero, it's time for Rock Band to take an extended solo.

In a posting on the official Rock Band forums today, Harmonix's John Drake offered condolences for his competition and reassurance for fans worried that the developer's rhythm game series would be similarly scuttled. He acknowledged that the apparent death of the Guitar Hero franchise was "discouraging news" for fans of the genre and touted Harmonix's ongoing support for Rock Band in the form of new songs, as well as the upcoming Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitar controller. Drake also reminded Guitar Hero owners that most peripherals for the games work with Rock Band.

"The music genre is one that calls for constant reinvention, and Harmonix is continuing to welcome and embrace that call," Drake said, adding, "In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on. We're continuing to invest in the franchise and the brand that we have built and will do our best to serve all loyal band game fans."

For more on the latest installment in the series, check out GameSpot's review of Rock Band 3.

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Avatar image for hotkoffe

Rock Band 2 was terrible.

Avatar image for renatotozzodias

I enjoyed playing GH as I do play RB, both are good. Different setlists, but same gameplay. I would like RB to have more spanish songs. I don't have XBL, but I enjoy playing alone and with my father.

Avatar image for stardog68

RIP "Guitar Hero", If it wern't for you "Rock Band" would'nt be here today. Still "Rock Band" rocked your world the first day it came out. With drums, micophone, tons of DLC, and frankly a funner game that my whole family LOVE to play together.

Avatar image for Rod90

At least Rock Band will not quit. You suck Activision (not as much as ubisoft, but you still suck).

Avatar image for ThePurpleBubble

@hippiesanta Where is the fun in that? Part of the draw of Rock Band is the hilarious characters. But, yeah, it's good that the rythme market is slimming down, and even better that the surviving franchise is the best ;) (Opinionated statement is opinionated, I know, but it's an opinion I'm sure many share.)

Avatar image for LeadnSteel

Rock Band did something Guitar Hero failed to do: bring out realistic instruments. I've played the Mustang Guitar, and it is great and the Squier will be even better.

Avatar image for hippiesanta

Rock Band you should make a realistic looking avatar in the future.

Avatar image for Mr_arizona

Rock Band didn't win the war Guitar Hero just fired in every direction and caught some ricochets from it's own gun. I guess hoping people had 420 a year exclusively for Guitar Hero games was a bad business move.

Avatar image for score89

Rock band won the war, but gh loss is a big one even as a rb fan

Avatar image for SolanOcard

Also, I see sales stats for Warriors or rock... less than 100,000 in the first month, but where are the sales stats for Rock Band? I googled it only found something for Britain for the first 2 days. Anyone know where I can find that info?

Avatar image for SolanOcard

I bought every rock band game, (not the DS ones) and only a few of the guitar hero games... because I didn't get into the genre until RB1 came out with the full band set-up, and all the GH games that followed had far inferior play lists. I also find the RB games set-up more fun... even if it was just notes on a highway... somehow it was different. Oh, and Guitar Hero was WAY to cartoooooony to take seriously. LONG LIVE ROCKBAND!

Avatar image for deactivated-5c046540311db

I love Rock Band and hate Activision, but this is clearly a sign that music genre games are on the decline. I just hope that we can get some Aerosmith, Metallica, Soundgarden and others for Rock Band before Harmonix also cuts off the DLC.

Avatar image for MasterFreinz

I think I'll download something from the 2600+ song bank in celebration.

Avatar image for someGAMEcream

Rock Band just won the war that lasted 6 years. *high five*

Avatar image for dtujd2

Rock Band succeeds because Harmonix tries to be innovative with the genre and add something to the overall experience (IE new instruments, more realistic modes, etc.) GH was all about just putting as much content out there as possible, as quickly as possible, and not really advancing the genre in a particular direction. That is the main reason Rock Band is still standing and will continue to do so for some time to come.

Avatar image for GenericMagnetic

I haven't cared about music games in nearly 2 years, but it's good to see the company who actually got it RIGHT is the only one left standing.

Avatar image for guertt

oh no, now rock band will star to be poor. its always like that when there is no competition...

Avatar image for Freak_Ache

I haven't followed Rock Band news in a while, and just recently found out, much to my excitement, that the entire London Calling album is now available as DLC. How can Rock Band ever die with awesomeness like that?

Avatar image for Wolf-5

I have Rock Band, Glad it's gonna keep going. Sorry for fans of GH, hopefully they will enjoy RB just as much.

Avatar image for Darth_Nater307

Well this is good to hear. I always was more fond of Rock Band than Guitar Hero anyway.

Avatar image for Get_Shorty

Guitar Hero loses Rock Band wins!

Avatar image for UFO2012

MERGATROLL is probably too young to drink beer.

Avatar image for Master_Turismo

Thankfully Rockband is not associated to Activision and it's corruption. Keep on a rockin' Harmonix!

Avatar image for MERGATROYDER

LMAO! People in this thread are hilarious. The music genre is on the brink of death. It has been raped of its glory and that is a fact. Vega13mv is a mindless fool to place judgement upon anyone. Rock Band is good for only one thing, to have something to do with people while drinking.

Avatar image for DeViLzzz

WTB KISS Rock Band collector's edition

Avatar image for vega13mv

those that say the genre is dead probably dont have any friends to play with or cant afford the peripherals, cuz playing RB with a full band is a wickedly fun experience. Just because you're broke and lonely doesnt mean the game sucks

Avatar image for RossRichard

As long as Rock Band keeps putting out pro mode stuff for guitar, they will keep on getting my money.

Avatar image for Urlic

All I want is more downloadable songs from Pink Floyd, U2, etc etc etc. Rock Band all the way.

Avatar image for imbusydoctorwho

I always like Rock band,I think it's because Harmonix puts more thought into there games. Bring on Rock Band Pink Floyd. I just hope they don't milk it now cause Guitar Hero's gone but I don't think they will.

Avatar image for BuiltForSin

I would have to agree that the music genre as a whole is no closer to death than most other niche genres.. GH mya have been shipped to the retirement home but games like Dance Central and oddly enough Just Dance moved more copies than alot of people realize. Hell, aside from the CoD and RDRs I'm willing to bet last year's Just Dance moved more copies than alot of games most Music genre critics reading this article played recently.

Avatar image for UFO2012

Hopefully those GH songs from Van Halen, Metallica, Aerosmith and all the other GH games will come to the Rock Band store. That would be so awesome.

Avatar image for razgriz_101

harmonix wont slack off with their RB support and thats a fact. Those guys even state how much they love their music and even some of the bands in RB's setlists are actually bands from members of their developement team. Going by previous GH1 and 2 when there was no competition to them they managed to create an original game that was amazingly fun at parties aswell as build a decent cult following i can bet a lot of GH1,2 era players shifted to RB. Cause tbh GH was declining since 3, the absurd difficulty jump for the pure literal lolz killed what it was all about.

Avatar image for LanceVance87

too bad.

Avatar image for Pete5506

Ive always been a bigger fan of RB over GH

Avatar image for plaintomato

Well, they won't have Activision flooding the market. And Activision has never innovated unless forced to by Harmonix. This is one genre where the lack of competition could actually be a good thing, but only because the right company is the one still holding out.

Avatar image for super600

I'm happy Activision Guitar Hero unit finally failed. At least Harmonix has the ability to stretch their muscles on the genre since they don't have to worry about any money hungry game publishing comanies. Harmonix I hope you continue to produce good games and I may be interested in purchasing a couple of your games one day.

Avatar image for emoticedmar

Rock Band all the way :)

Avatar image for wexorian

i sory rock band new begining :DD

Avatar image for wexorian

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for stalkerx3000

With Guitar Hero out of the picture I wonder if Rock Band will be able to get Metallica songs now. I would for sure buy

Avatar image for grey_fox1984


Avatar image for drokmore

Well the main chance is simply that now there is no competition...

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy

If the last Rock Band game didn't do so well what chance does the franchise have going forward? Harmonix should think about coming up with a new IP.

Avatar image for inthepastxx

Agreed with the first comment on here, People tend to forget Harmonix made GH 1 and 2 and they were the 2 best guitar hero games until they went on to make rock band which then and now dominates the music genre of games.

Avatar image for X_Colbert_X

I don't get why so many people are saying "Oh, well now that Harmonix has no competition, they're just going to slack off." Harmonix had no competition back when they released GH I & II. And they certainly did not slack off then.

Avatar image for FarmFreshDX

@Gelugon_baat You are completely correct. It doesn't surprise me that Activision would drop the division like it's hot just because sales didn't match up. Hopefully the lack of competition doesn't make Harmonix lax.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Ah... do keep in mind that in free business, competitors have much to gain from each other, directly or indirectly. One of the latter sort of gain is showing how their own products are supposedly better than the others'. This is Harmonix's relationship with Activision's former rhythm game unit.

Avatar image for FallenOneX

They could become the EA type Developer of the music game genre. Seriously, quality games to all systems could prove profitable. Good luck for them.

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