New Rock Band Game: Harmonix created Rock Band, while MTV Games and Electronic Arts are responsible for its publication and distribution. Launching the Rock Band franchise, it is the original game in the series. In North America, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were published on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions were released on December 18, 2007, and June 22, 2008, respectively.
To the delight of rock music fans everywhere, Harmonix created the first two Guitar Hero games, which were played with guitar-shaped controllers. Harmonix conceived Rock Band as a new title that would feature multi-instrument gameplay after Neversoft took over the development of the franchise.
Up to four players can use controllers inspired by real-world instruments to perform renditions of hit rock tunes. In addition to singing through a USB microphone, players can use “instrument controllers” to play the lead guitar, bass guitar, and drum parts of songs. Players are ranked based on how well they mimic the singer’s pitch or play along with scrolling “notes” that represent musical chords or scales.
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— Rock Band (@RockBand) November 29, 2022
Both online and local multiplayer is supported for cross-platform interaction between Xbox 360 and PS3 users. For both the Xbox 360 and PS3, almost two thousand more songs were made available for digital download in addition to the core set of 58 tracks included on the disc.
The video game software was released both in a bundle with the instrument peripherals and as a stand-alone product. Instrument accessories were made available separately at a later time. The game was well-received by critics and consumers alike, selling four million copies and generating $600 million in revenue throughout the world.
Since Rock Band’s release, players have downloaded more than 100 million songs. Based on the game’s popularity, six follow-ups were developed and released: Rock Band 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, Lego Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band, Rock Band 3, and Rock Band 4.
New Rock Band Game Gameplay
Rock Band takes many of its gameplay concepts from the Guitar Hero series and applies them to a simulation of playing rock music using real-life instruments as controllers. The “notes” on the screen scroll in sync with the music, and the player plays along. When compared to the Guitar Hero series, Rock Band improves upon it by introducing not only lead and bass guitar gameplay, but also drum and voice gameplay.
Rock Band combines features from Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution in both its gameplay and its on-screen interface. There can be up to three separate vertically scrolling color-coded music notation tracks in Rock Band, one each for lead guitar, drums, and bass. Colored on-screen notes map to physical buttons on guitar and drum controllers.
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— Rock Band (@RockBand) November 26, 2022
Holding down colored fret buttons on the guitar peripheral and pressing the controller’s strum bar simulates playing lead and bass guitar notes while playing the drums requires striking the matching colored drumhead or stepping on the pedal to simulate playing bass drum beats. The voices display, like that of Karaoke Revolution, runs horizontally across the top of the screen. Lyrics appear below green bars that indicate the relative pitch of each vocal component.
Vocal performances require the player to match the original singer’s pitch as closely as possible. The pitch indicator shows how close the vocalist is to the original note. Virtual representations of the band members play out the rest of the concert on-screen.
While everyone in the band contributes to the final score, individual players keep track of their own score multipliers and “Overdrive” during cooperative play. In order to unlock Overdrive, you must play all white notes in a certain segment of the song perfectly (or use the whammy bar on the guitar controller while playing white sustained notes).
When the Energy Meter reaches its midpoint, players can activate their Overdrive, resulting in more pronounced shifts in the “Band Meter” (which measures how well each player is doing). As a result, players can deliberately employ Overdrive to boost their Band Meter and succeed at challenging sections of a song.
The use of overdrive allows the player to trigger point multipliers that are conditional on the length of their note streak. It is possible for players to independently deploy Overdrive and harvest more of the resource while it is already active and depleting.
The level of difficulty is up to the discretion of each band member (spanning Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert). If a musician’s performance drops to the Band Meter’s “Fail” level, they are automatically kicked out of the song and their instrument is silenced. A failing band member can be “saved” if an active player uses their Overdrive to pull them back into the song.
A member of the band can be called back for a song a maximum of twice before it is permanently lost for good. Until they are rescued, doomed band members will keep bringing down the Band Meter. The band will fail the song if the player is not saved before the Band Meter hits zero. Overdrive points are awarded for “Uniform Phrases,” and a “Big Rock Ending” awards even more points.
Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers, unlike PS2 and Wii owners, may design and personalize their own virtual band member, down to the hairstyle, body type, clothes, tattoos, stage moves, and instruments. Each persona can only play one particular instrument. The player can buy things at the “Rock Shop” to personalize their rock star with virtual currency earned in the game. Players can use an in-game art maker to create their own unique designs for face painting, tattoos, clothes, instrument artwork, and band logos.
New Rock Band Game Release
Massive pre-release advertising for Rock Band was conducted by MTV and Harmonix. The game went on a promotional tour around the country. Several tour buses made stops in major U.S. cities, where they showcased the game to eager fans by setting up demo stations.
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— Rock Band (@RockBand) November 25, 2022
Campuses of various universities were among the spots investigated. In addition, the game served as an audition platform for fan-made “bands”; their in-game performances were filmed and sent to MTV casting directors, who ultimately chose two groups to compete in a “battle of the bands” on Total Request Live. The tour kicked off on September 9th, 2007 with a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.
About $30 million was spent by MTV on extra advertising. Those that took part in The Real World hosted the game in their homes so it could be broadcast. In addition, VH1 made a short parody documentary called “Rock Band Cometh: The Rock Band Band Story,” which mimics the format of Behind the Music and follows a made-up band as they play the game.
Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Sam’s Club all have demo kiosks where you could play the game. Playing with all four instruments is possible in the demo, which featured 15 songs (although the actual in-store setup varied). There was no bass pedal on the drum set included in the demo; instead, the game programmed bass drum tones into the soundtrack itself.
Free and cheap downloadable content from other firms helped popularize Rock Band. In exchange for an online pre-order of their Indestructible album, Best Buy gave consumers a pair of downloaded tracks from the band Disturbed for free in June 2008.
These tracks then became accessible to all users for $0.99/80MSP. As part of their Dollar Menu campaign in May of 2008, McDonald’s ran a program that offered discounted downloads of two songs every week for just $1 (about half the regular price).
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— Rock Band (@RockBand) November 25, 2022
Several bands, including The Automatic, The Whip, and The Courteeners, played brief shows in celebration of the game’s release in London, United Kingdom.
Frequently asked questions
Is there going to be a new Rock Band game?
Following an announcement in 2022 and a deal between Rockstar Games and Harmonix Music Studios, the game is now under development and is scheduled for release in 2023.
Is Rock Band 5 confirmed?
Harmonix, Rockstar Games, Spotify, and Razer Inc. all announced on Twitter in 2025 that the development of Rock Band 5 was underway.
Why did they stop making Rock bands?
Oversaturation and a lack of creativity ultimately doomed the Guitar Hero and Rock Band brands, bringing an end to the genre of music rhythm games. There have been several rhythm games released since the initial craze cooled down, but they haven’t been particularly successful.
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