MTV and Harmonix on Rock Band 3, DLC & Project Natal

With Rock Band 1 & 2 already out there, The Beatles: Rock Band coming September 9th and the huge amount of DLC, rockstar wannabes have enough to enjoy themselves with. Or so you would think.

Earlier this week, MCV sat down with Scott Guthrie, the newly appointed vice president of MTV Games, to talk about what’s in store for the Rock Band brand. As it appears, there are no signs of MTV or Harmonix jumping out of this bandwagon anytime soon. “We have a long-term plan, but as we are only in the formation stage right now I can’t really disclose it.” With the imminent release of The Beatles: Rock Band, it’s understandable that their focus is set on just that at this moment. After all, you’d hate to be the one to ruin the release of a game featuring one of the most amazing and influential bands of all time. However, when asked about what the next move would be, after the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, Guthrie responded that “the Harmonix development team are working on what is effectively the next game, or ‘Rock Band 3’” confirming a physical sequel to the highly acclaimed franchise.

“Physical? What’s that about, what do you mean?” One thing that differentiates Rock Band from its competitive counterpart Guitar Hero is that while Guitar Hero focuses on releasing pressed discs onto retail stores which you can buy and allocate on a shelf at home, MTV Games and Harmonix have opted to approach the consumer through digital distribution — DLC — on which he says they “have completely outflanked” their competitor on. When talking to retailers, Guthrie expresses their liking in how things are being delivered to the consumers and that “we aren’t cluttering their shelves with insignificant packaged product” hinting at the multiple discs released for Guitar Hero. In this case, The Beatles: Rock Band would understandably be an exception to the digitial distribution method with it actually taking you through the history of the band, which arguably would be too big of a package to download as DLC for any of the currently available iterations of Rock Band on any platform.

Even though Harmonix is hard at work, Guthrie states that they “aren’t standing still” and that they “will keep moving into new areas and look at new technologies that our platform holder partners are also developing, such as Project Natal from Microsoft. We’re working with them to pull some things together.” The addition of Project Natal to a music game seems like a given and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the technology was implemented to Rock Band 3, in any way, as Guthrie would suggest and thus ramping up their ambitions of what they can achieve as a creative entity and what we gamers are to expect of the next generation of music games.