The promise has been made.
In what feels like an inevitable but still completely surprising move, Harmonix announced that they are in fact developing Rock Band 4, which will be coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 later this year. Yes, you read that right, this year. Watch the embedded video to get a sense of the real passion the Harmonix team is taking when approaching this sequel to the beloved series. Truth be told, it gets me feeling a little emotional.
The team behind the game seems to be focusing on things besides the base game, unlike what they did with the original Rock Band. The survey they sent out last year seems to be playing a huge factor into how they consider development, both instrument and content wise. Their earlier statements about making every single piece of DLC (over 2,000 songs) available in the new game also seem to be true, so that’s one issue that we players won’t have to worry our little heads over. In addition, the songs that you’ve bought before on the previous generations of consoles will actually be available to you again for no additional charge. Clearly, Harmonix is the developer we deserve.
Heck, they love us so much, they’re giving us a free song for Rock Band 3, if you’re willing to dust off the controllers, or remember they’re broken and be really bummed about it. “I Still Believe” by Frank Turner is available for free right now, to be played in Rock Band 3 and Rock Band Blitz. The fact that they still take to heart even Rock Band Blitz is a vote of confidence for their work ethic and passion for projects, though Amplitude being crowd-funded and rebooted probably helps that too.
More information will be announced come May, concerning new features and details. Expect stuff about the instrument controllers, which seem to be getting worked on by Mad Catz, and a new set-list of songs among other goodies.
It seems worth it to be excited, as they’re really emphasizing that this is all with and for the fans. Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak says “[We are] focusing on the core experience that our fans have told us they love allows us to evolve established gameplay in meaningful ways that we can’t wait to share with everyone later this year.” Well the fans are surely excited, too. Also, this upcoming PAX East, attendees will get to pre-order a Penny Arcade-themed guitar controller at the Harmonix booth. Depending on how you feel about cartoon Gabe’s face, this is either really cool, stupid, or both.
As for us at Video Game Choo Choo… well, I can’t speak for my cohorts, but I’ll be spending literally all of my time working on set-list wish lists. I shall dust off the LCD Soundsystem and “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band foam fingers I’ve had for so long… just so long… Wow, this is exciting news.
Rock Band and rhythm games in general live!