Open Source Rock Band Sequel

Well, not quite. But in a conference at GDC, Chris Foster, of Rock Band developer Harmonix, stated that the company was investigating possibilities of user created content and song imports for future Rock Band titles. As Joystiq staffer JC Fletcher aptly points out: does this mean that Rock Band 2 is confirmed? If so, I gotta get my Xbox back ASAP.Nickelback Rox

I’ve been lobbying for user generated songs for Rock Band for awhile now as I feel that the transcendent game could capitalize on user driven content in a way that few titles could. The music world is so vast, that allowing the Rock Band players to contribute to the game seems the obvious next step. And quality control (another massive piece of the user content puzzle) could be self regulating: Nobody is going to play your crappy port of Nickelback. It’ll get drowned out by better ports. Or just by better songs. I suppose this is the YouTube model of operation.

Of course the red tape surrounding this operation must be entangling, to say the least. Can you imagine trying to pitch this to big time music studios who are already soiling themselves over the plethora of piracy problems? The bottom line though is the fact that all parties involved are taking it to the bank courtesy of Xbox Live downloads. Why give something away when you can cash in on it instead? I know I’m putting the points on my account nonstop. El Scorcho anyone?


9 Responses to “Open Source Rock Band Sequel”

  1. I think a truly open source format, though awesome, can’t happen because it would take away revenue control. What they’re selling in their sequels isn’t a new game but new songs (and they sell those online too). There would be a problem for the publisher if individuals could make their owns songs.

  2. I think if they stepped up their production of official songs, it would kick ass. I love how they put out 3 songs a week, but really, a lot of the time they suck! 😦 Truly open source would cut off their revenue, but if there were some way they took user suggestions/songs and put them out there, it would be sweet. Maybe a subscription fee would have to be required. That seems like a good compromise. Or how about 10 bucks a month for a certain number of user submitted songs downloaded type thing. Or charge like 99 cents for user created songs. Somehow distinguishing user vs Harmonix songs would be necessary. Would be fun.

  3. How can they charge for user created songs? Its not their property to sell. I like your subscription fee idea though, like the open source program could be based on a service/user fee both to create and download. I also agree that most of the DLC lately has been pretty shitty.

  4. That’s the inherent problem with a game based on music – its impossible to satisfy everyone. music tastes are so different that with only three songs a week, its almost a sure bet that any given person is not going to like one of them.

    Brain – I like the idea of an amped up user feedback system. Perhaps Harmonix could create some polling system that gave users a say in what songs they would be putting out in the future. I know I would be voting.

  5. I just realized that your picture is of Nickelback and everyone makes fun of them, but I heard they were the top selling “rock” band of last year. Someone out there has to be liking them. I don’t hate them, I don’t say that I love them. I just think its funny how much people blast them.

  6. it sounds like that “someone out there”‘s name is Brain6464

  7. its definitely well established that nickelback pushes product, so you’re right that people out there like them. I don’t have any real animosity towards the band, i just a) think the lead singer looks funny and b) love this song that somebody put together:

  8. YEAH YEAH no.

  9. There are so many great songs that should be in rock band. Every time I’m driving with daggius and listening to the radio we hear at least 2 songs that would be awesome in rock band.

    A polling system would be cool, but then there might be a problem with only the most popular songs being available. So since Nickelback is the top selling rock band of last year according to brain, then we might just end up with all Nickelback all the time. The majority of people out there might love this, but I personally would hate it.

    The idea of subscription based user created content sounds great to me if it was done well.

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