Rock Band will return, but revamped

By | Published on Wednesday 26 October 2011

Rock Band

The Rock Band franchise will be “fundamentally reinterpreted” in 2012, according to the boss of the company that makes it, Harmonix.

As previously reported, the games developer, best known for its pretend-to-play title, was sold for next to nothing by MTV owners Viacom last year. Coming close to the announcement by rivals Activision that it was halting development of its ‘Guitar Hero’ franchise, it led many to predict the demise of the pretend-to-play genre.

However, Harmonix is planning on reissuing ‘Rock Band 3’, originally released last year, for this year’s Christmas market, before overhauling the game in 2012. The company’s CEO Alex Rigopoulos told gaming site Giant Bomb: “In the longer term, looking into next year, we’re actually considering a fairly fundamental creative reinterpretation of what the ‘Rock Band’ business is. We’re committed to the franchise, but I think that when we do things with it in the future, it’s going to be a pretty dramatic departure from what we’ve done before”.

Expanding on that point, the firm’s CTO, Eran Egozy, added: “All I’ll say for now is that it isn’t what you think. You might assume we’re going to add saxophone or something along those lines, but no, the kind of direction we’re planning on taking ‘Rock Band’, the kind of innovation we have in mind, is taking it in a different direction – one that’s more suitable to the kind of environment we’re in, what people are doing now, what they’re interested in playing now, versus, say, 2007”.

As previously reported, Ubisoft is launching a new variation on the ‘Hero’ and ‘Band’ franchises where users plug a real guitar into their console, so that ‘pretend-to-play’ becomes ‘play’.