IGN has an incredible interview with MTV’s Paul DeGooyer giving us a ton of insight about Harmonix’s upcoming opus, Rock Band 3. In the interview, DeGooyer talks about several aspects of the game from how and why the songs were chosen for the game as well as pricing for future downloadable content.
With an enormous 2,000-song library, Harmonix have all but dominated the rhythm game scene with no end in sight. Read the whole interview over on IGN, but I’ve listed some of the big points covered after the cut.
Imported songs in Rock Band 3
Songs you already imported, if you will, will work automatically in Rock Band 3 – if you purchased a key for Rock Band or AC/DC or any of the other games, you’re set for Rock Band 3. That’s generally how our platform strategy works. Once you’ve used your key, you can access that content across the games.
Rock Band 2 into Rock Band 3 will be very similar to the export function for Rock Band into Rock Band 2. There are more songs in Rock Band 2, so the key will be a little bit more expensive.
PRO Mode pricing
Going forward, all DLC released for Rock Band 3 will be fully Rock Band 3-compatible, which means it’ll come with Pro Mode for keyboard and drums, harmony mode, etc. The only thing that’s more difficult for us in terms of authoring time is the guitar stuff, so we’ve decided to sell Pro Mode for guitar separately. If you’re not interested in Pro Mode for guitar, you can still get the DLC that should conform to our current DLC pricing, and you get Pro Mode for all your other instruments.
Right now, a typical stand-alone song for us is a buck ninety-nine. If you wanted to buy Pro Mode for guitar on top of that dollar ninety-nine, it would cost a buck. So it’s not going to be five bucks or anything. We think it’s a really fair price. The alternative would be of course to include it (in the regular download) and up the price for everybody, which I don’t think is really fair.
I should note that not all tracks will have pro guitar mode. (Many bands’) guitar parts wouldn’t rise to the level that they would need to have pro mode authoring associated with them.
Updating songs in the back catalogue
I don’t think we’re announcing anything specific yet, but we’re gonna have one major band that we’re working with that has already got some DLC out there, and we’re going to add to that DLC, and retrofit their DLC with pro mode. Then there’s a selection of other tracks in the catalog that we’ve gone back and identified, and we have suggestions as well from our community, and we’ve gone and identified those tracks. So our first announcement will actually be a pretty good cross-section. And I think that track list will help people understand the stuff that we would actually go back and retroactively put pro mode into.
Regarding certain song choices in Rock Band 3 *coughamywinehousecough*
It’s a really good question. There are a couple things that happen. “Heated” doesn’t even begin to describe the conversations that we have about the track listing. Despite all of this people threatening to set themselves on fire, people slipping other people roofies and then covering their faces with magic marker, about song choices and things like that, we try to not to make the track list a compromise. So we want it to be relentlessly interesting. I can tell you that every song that’s on there is on there for a reason, because we think it says something about Rock Band, and when you play it, it may be a little bit easier to understand. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a good portion of the team that wants to kill themselves because Amy Winehouse is in the game, you know what I mean? So ultimately it’s about coming up with the best list that’s the most interesting, that’s the coolest and the most fun to play. As you said yourself, OK Go, the track that was in Rock Band, was a controversial choice, but then once it got out there in the world, it became kind of a go-to track for a lot of people and it became one of the most requested tracks. We got feedback from people saying, you know what, I never would have thought I’d like that band, but I love that song, and now I’ve gotten into that band. We love that. And of course what’s happened with that band is, they kicked their label to the curb and they’ve done some incredible stuff independently. We love that too, that we were a part of that, we helped make that happen. We helped give them something that helped them move into that zone. It all hopefully fits together at the end of the day, but yeah, there’s a lot of tears along the way.
Lots of other good stuff in the interview, so I definitely suggest checking the link out.