Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rest In Peace, Rock Band

I know a lot of you probably don't give a crap about Rock Band (the game), but I do.  For a good part of '08-'12 I poured more money into that game than pretty much everything else.  Like you guys would go to the store and buy multiple games--Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, etc.  I would just get Rock Band, Rock Band, Rock Band.  Makes sense, no?  That's how much the series apparently meant to me.

Every week for the last FIVE YEARS, Harmonix would release at least one new song for DLC.  The average for each week was about 3 to 6 new songs but sometimes they would release massive albums/song packs of 10 or more songs and those were fun days.  Always checking the websites each Friday to see which songs could be purchased the following Tuesday.  To put things in perspective, I currently own 1,500 songs in my library, plus three RB2 guitars (with third-party strum bar and lots of WD-40 to make the buttons click), two RB2 drumsets (one with cymbals), three RB mics, a RB3 keyboard and a RB3 Pro Guitar..  All of that must cost at least $2,500.  So Rock Band was a pretty big deal to me, don't you think???

Well, apparently, over the last year, the amount of weekly DLC was obvious the game wasn't as popular as it once was and that Rock Band was on borrowed time.  AC-DC/Lego/Beatles/Green Day Rock Band (plus Blitz) were great to tack on additional songs/features but it wouldn't last.  Last Tuesday, they released one last song--Don McLean's American Pie.  It's not one of my all-time faves but it's a great golden oldie to end the 281 week run on.  Dammit, this can't be true...there's so many more songs and bands to get in the game.  Where's Van Halen, Led Zeppelin (I know they are picky), ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, etc?  Where's all the keyboard wishlist DLC I wanted?  It's not's all over...

Rock Band is dead.  I'm utterly depressed but you know what?  It gives me faith in this generation of gaming.  Because Rock Band really was a game that should've faded away much earlier than it has now.  The fact that the series has over 4,200 playable songs is because the people working on the game actually genuinely cared about the damn game they were working on (list of all the DLC)!!  I can tell that they held out for as long as possible even though it was obvious the weekly DLC became less and less profitable.  Honestly, I wish game devs actually stuck to their guns on great convictions like these.

Boy, I'd love to see a racing game get as much DLC as Rock Band did (Forza 4 with its car packs and one DLC track barely comes close).  Thank you Harmonix for the inspiration.  Rock Band 4 is super unlikely IMO cause there's not much else to add to the series (we got pro guitar/drums/keys, what now???  saxophone???) aside from the ability to create charts from any MP3 you own (which is absurd, I admit)?  Now I can't listen to any song anymore without drumming my fingers to the notes, like I'm imagining a bunch of green-red-yellow-blue-orange notes coming down the lane as I press them like piano keys.  So Rest in Peace, Rock Band, you will be missed...

The first DLC song I bought for $2.  It started a Rock Band avalanche for me.


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