Rock Band 4 Additions Coming this Fall Include Online Play

Rock Band 4 Additions Coming this Fall Include Online Play

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Harmonix has detailed what's ahead for Rock Band 4 in the coming months, including online multiplayer and an expansion.

At PAX East this weekend, Harmonix announced some of the content coming to Rock Band 4 this fall. First up (in May) will be some free bandmates, specifically Miko and Thorn from Gearbox's Battleborn. They're also adding double kick support.

In June, they'll be adding a Practice Mode that will let you play through songs and slow down difficult portions to help you finally get them down pat.

Later this fall, Harmonix plans to release an expansion as well. Although the full details of what's included won't be announced until E3, Harmonix did reveal a few things. It will add support for the Xbox 360 ION Drum kit, although it will require the purchase of a new adapter from PDP. It will also add new filtering and rating tools to the music library.

Finally, around the holiday season, we should the addition of synchronous online multiplayer. In a post on the PlayStation Blog[/i], Harmonix described the upcoming mode, saying, "Synchronous online multiplayer will be like Quickplay, modified to provide a fair and streamlined experience for console friends looking to play Rock Band 4 together online." Like the expansion, Harmonix promises more multiplayer details at E3.

When Rock Band 4 launched, Harmonix said they wanted to make it more of a platform than a game, and these additions will definitely contribute to that goal.

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While I am really glad to be hearing all of this, I wish they delayed the game until all of this was available at launch. I bought the game shortly after release, but if felt like a shell of what it used to be! Regardless, this is good news. The saying, "better late than never" applies here I think. If they keep this up I might be drawn to RB4 instead of sticking with RB3 :D

Still needs a better basic tracklist.

And about a $30 discount. If I have to spend a small fortune just to have decent music to play, they need to do better than $120 for the base package.

When will the add the sub game where you become a heroin addict, become estranged from the rest of your band and slowly die poor and alone in a basement?

AKA all the missing features that they had in previous games but ditched in order to ship the game faster and be out at the same time as the Guitar Hero game.

Wait, this was all missing from the game when it was released??

I hadn't even looked into RB4 because I don't have any plans to get either an Xbone or PS4, but this is just embarrassing.
Looks like I'm probably going to skip this one, unless a family member gets it.

Dr. Thrax:
Wait, this was all missing from the game when it was released??

This was my reaction. How the hell did they release the game without online multiplayer? I assumed the title was a typo until I googled it, that's insane.

Dango:
This was my reaction. How the hell did they release the game without online multiplayer? I assumed the title was a typo until I googled it, that's insane.

I guess it's a damn good thing we didn't jump on getting this as soon as possible, because we have the 360 ION drum kit, and we'd have been rather pissed to find out we couldn't use it and that there was no news on plans to make it compatible.

But the lack of double kick support seems pretty damn bad, considering just how many songs were released on RB3 that practically required double kick to play.

I can't wait to try the double kickdrum on all those complex Justin Bieber songs.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? They didn't even have practice mode? Harmonix, what the hell happened to you?

SlumlordThanatos:
Still needs a better basic tracklist.

And about a $30 discount. If I have to spend a small fortune just to have decent music to play, they need to do better than $120 for the base package.

You can get the game + guitar for 70 bucks a lot of the time.

Dango:

This was my reaction. How the hell did they release the game without online multiplayer? I assumed the title was a typo until I googled it, that's insane.

Lack of online play was one of the deciding factors in me not buying it.

Something Amyss:
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? They didn't even have practice mode? Harmonix, what the hell happened to you?

They lost their publisher and went indie.

Sight Unseen:

They lost their publisher and went indie.

They did that years ago. What does it have to do with not including a basic element of your genre?

Something Amyss:

Sight Unseen:

They lost their publisher and went indie.

They did that years ago. What does it have to do with not including a basic element of your genre?

They're poorer now. They had to both buy their freedom from publishers, and they also do not have publisher money to support development of the game any more. Less money, less dev time. Less dev time, less features. It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.

Sight Unseen:
It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.

Yet somehow, many indie devs manage to put out complete games with less staff or production time. It might not be a difficult concept to grasp, but it doesn't answer the question.

Something Amyss:

Sight Unseen:
It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.

Yet somehow, many indie devs manage to put out complete games with less staff or production time. It might not be a difficult concept to grasp, but it doesn't answer the question.

There aren't many indie devs who I think could have tackled something like Rock Band 4, including getting instruments and DLC compatible with next gen consoles, without some kind of external funding, whether it be a kickstarter, early access, IndieFund, or some other substantial source of money. You have to remember that the Rock Band franchise was, for all intents and purposes, a AAA game back in it's prime. To go from having AAA budgets and staff to a much smaller indie studio that has to juggle 4 or 5 games (at the time RB was being developed they were also likely working on Amplitude, Fantasia: Music Evolved, A City Sleeps, Record Run, and Dance Central Spotlight at the least) at a time to keep the money rolling in, while also still trying to make Rock Band 4 LOOK and FEEL like the AAA titles of old on a new engine for a new console while also allowing for an unheard of level of backwards compatibility, was a nearly impossible task. Cuts had to be made somewhere. They chose to have it launch with fewer of the "non-core" features than previous games, and then expand those features if they made enough money to justify it.

I don't like the decision either, but I understand it from a business standpoint. I was a hardcore Rock Band fanboy for years. I still play RB3 every week or two. But I did not buy Rock Band 4, and won't get it until the features I want(online play) and need (ION support) are added. This is why I am VERY excited about this news article since they've confirmed the upcoming addition of the two main things that were holding my purchase back.

Now I just need to get an Xbox One to play it on. Sigh...

Sight Unseen:
-SNIP-

Still didn't really stop them from having a pretty strong release schedule for quite an amount of time after they went indie. Or from opting to crowdfund a PC version.

Something Amyss:

Sight Unseen:
-SNIP-

Still didn't really stop them from having a pretty strong release schedule for quite an amount of time after they went indie. Or from opting to crowdfund a PC version.

Since Harmonix went indie in 2010, the only really "big" games that they've released have been Microsoft Kinect exclusives like Dance Central and Fantasia, which were most likely pretty well paid for by Microsoft to bolster their Kinect lineup.

2010- Dance Central
2011- Dance Central 2
2012- Dance Central 3
2014- Dance Central Spotlight
2014- Fantasia Music Evolved.

Aside from that they've only released pretty obscure low budget games. Not counting the aforementioned titles this has been their release lineup:

2011- VidRhythm- whatever the hell this thing is- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkh4z9wbz88&ab_channel=VidRhythm
2012- Rock Band Blitz (pretty small scale arcade title)
2014- Record Run (free to play iOS title)
2014- A City Sleeps- a $10 2D top down shooter game
2015- BeatSports- iOS game
2015- Beatniks- some kind of iOS music based Tomogotchi
2016- Amplitude- a kickstarted reboot of the PS2 Amplitude game

The best, highest budget and quality thing that Harmonix has made since Viacom sold them off that hasn't been (most likely) subsidized by Microsoft is Amplitude, a game that was crowdfunded for $844,000, which is not much in terms of game development. I can pretty much guarantee that Rock Band 4 cost more to make than that (according to Kotaku, Rock Band 1 cost $20million), and it wasn't crowdfunded or supported by any major publisher. Rock Band 4 was their first major attempt to get back into AAA form on their own. And the reason they tried to crowdfund the PC version is likely for 2 reasons: 1- to gauge interest, and 2- because they don't have the financial resources to gamble on a PC version on their own.

 

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