Rock Band Network to change the face of music games

Rock Band Network to change the face of music games
James Orry Updated on by

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MTV has announced details of a new initiative, Rock Band Network, which promises to revolutionise the way the music industry interacts with music video games – any artist, from unsigned to global superstar, will be able to submit songs for inclusion in the Rock Band Network download store.

Artists can cut out the process of directly dealing with Harmonix, instead submitting songs to a community of Harmonix-trained freelance game developers who prepare the songs for Rock Band gameplay. Record labels will also be able to hire trained developers or train their existing employees to do the work in-house.

Submitting a song won’t guarantee it a place in the Rock Band Network Store. It must first be reviewed by other developers to check for playability, inappropriate lyrics, and any legal naughties. Once approved, tracks will be posted in a Rock Band Network Store where creators can set their own price and receive 30 per cent of all sales. 30 second samples will also be available to gamers.

The Rock Band Network recently entered a closed beta trial and is expected to expand to a public beta in August, with a hope to launch the Rock Band Network Store before the year end.

It also looks like Xbox 360 gamers will benefit most from the new initiative, with songs added through the Rock Band Network to be initially available on Xbox 360 only because of the service’s reliance on Microsoft’s XNA Creator’s Club. Stand out tracks will be made available on PS3 and Wii.

“We’ve figured out how to make it so anybody who owns and controls masters and publishing can put music into [“Rock Band”] at their own pace,” said MTV Games senior VP of electronic games and music Paul DeGooyer. “We’re talking about a set of serious professional tools to allow people on the front line of writing and recording songs to completely control their destiny with respect to interactive products and then giving them direct access to the download store.”


For more on the Rock Band Network head over to