Discussion Thread for Releasing Blitz Tracks as Singles & Plans for Upcoming RB DLC

edited April 2013 in Rock Band
This is the discussion thread for the recent announcement concerning the release of RB Blitz tracks as singles and plans for upcoming RB DLC. You can check out the full announcement for more info and review the FAQ below, but if you have any additional questions or comments feel free to post in this discussion thread.
hmxhenry;4955531 said:

1. Why are you releasing Blitz tracks as DLC?

There are a number of reasons why we’re releasing Blitz tracks as DLC. This will be the first time that Wii rockers have had access to these tracks, as Blitz was only available on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Additionally, since the announcement of Blitz, we’ve received a number of vocal requests from members of the community that wanted to pick and choose from singles off the setlist. As we’ve seen with previous Track Pack DLC releases, there is definitely a segment of the community interested in purchasing tracks piecemeal.

2. Will there be any new content available alongside the Blitz singles?


There may be one or two instances where Blitz singles releases are accompanied by previously unreleased content, and there are several Pro Guitar upgrades planned as well. For the most part the Blitz singles will be released by themselves.

3. Are you switching to a bi weekly Blitz schedule because you’re running out of DLC?

We still have some great DLC on the schedule, including the addition of several bands that have not yet appeared in Rock Band, as well as the return of some old favorites. The bi weeks in between Blitz releases will still feature new DLC releases, carrying us well beyond 4,000 total tracks in the library.

4. How long will the bi weekly Blitz releases run for?

The Blitz singles will likely be released in 3-4 song batches every other week over the course of the next 3 months until all 25 songs are available.

5. Why aren’t you releasing all the Blitz songs at once?


Releasing large batches of songs requires a ton of production bandwidth, both for our DLC team and for 1st party testers. Even though these songs were previously available in Blitz, releasing them as singles still requires additional testing and submission time that wasn’t available while developing other titles.

6. Will there be Pro upgrades for the Blitz singles?

We’re planning on adding Pro upgrades for 6 of the Blitz singles. These upgrades should be available to those that have already purchased Blitz, similar to how the Pro upgrades worked for the recent Green Day DLC / GDRB export.

7. What are these new IPs you’re working on? Are any of them RB related / instrument based music games?

Harmonix has several new projects in the works, but unfortunately no Rock Band news at the moment. You can keep posted to HarmonixMusic.com for future project announcements.

Comments

  • Scythemaster 37Scythemaster 37 Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    My question is, after the blitz singles all come out, are you going to continue to release weekly DLC? Or will it be the end of weekly DLC and start bi-weekly DLC?

    Blitz singles being released is definitely a good thing I think, I just hope it's not the end of weekly DLC :(
  • geo2n2geo2n2 Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    Scythemaster 37;4957045 said:
    My question is, after the blitz singles all come out, are you going to continue to release weekly DLC? Or will it be the end of weekly DLC and start bi-weekly DLC?

    Good question. Wondering the same.
  • MemoDLSGMemoDLSG Opening Act
    edited January 2013
    Hmm some questions:

    1. What will happen to the livestream? Will it become bi-weekly? Will you replay Blitz songs? Will you time DC3 DLC to be on the "off-weeks" of RB DLC? (IIRC DC doesn't have an as predictable release schedule compared to RB but they get DLC 2 or 3 times a month, so...)

    2. After the 3 months are done, will we still be getting ~3 new songs every week? Less? Or keep the biweekly schedule but without the Blitz rereleases? (Or nothing at all...?) I guess you won't be able to answer this but if you can, I'd like to know :)

    [edit: ninja'd twice on that second one]

    Also, thanks for all the support for the game and awesome songs you've released so far, and the (hopefully many) awesome songs you'll release in the future :)
  • crash13crash13 Jiminy jillickers!
    edited January 2013
    tnevaker;4957035 said:
    i really, really hope one of these secret projects is a rocksmith-style game that focuses on guitar/bass only and uses the same technology for playing with any guitar. a game that combined the best of RB pro (readable notation system, scoring system, leaderboards) and RS (note-sensing technology, more learning-oriented) could be a real winner. in fact that's my dream guitar game. and don't worry about making it compatible with RB pro DLC, because for the game to work right it would have to have all-new DLC (though if you were somehow able to update existing pro upgrades to work in a new game, employing bends and other techniques that would be a great bonus, but if not we'll understand).

    This wouldn't sell that good. Pro Guitar/Bass is a minority of Rock Band players. It would look like it's coping Rocksmith to the consumers and reviewers. Finally, legacy guitar/bass, drum, keyboard and vocalists would be left with nothing.
  • SideshowNSideshowN Rising Star
    edited January 2013
    Just tell us that one of the new titles your working on is Rock Band 4 and all this Blitz news will pass over my shoulders.
  • GraphicMangGraphicMang Rising Star
    edited January 2013
    so the week of the 15th is NON Blitz right?
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    crash13;4957057 said:
    This wouldn't sell that good. Pro Guitar/Bass is a minority of Rock Band players. It would look like it's coping Rocksmith to the consumers and reviewers. Finally, legacy guitar/bass, drum, keyboard and vocalists would be left with nothing.

    well, it would be geared toward a completely different audience than RB. obviously there would be minimal crossover appeal to RB players, but there are plenty of games that have even less crossover appeal and still do well. this isn't a replacement for RB, it's an entirely new game aimed at a mostly entirely new audience.

    they would obviously have to do something special with it to make it stand out from rocksmith (and bandfuse too) and give it its own identity so it doesn't look like just a copy. i have confidence in HMX though that if they put their minds to it they could come up with something. when RB came out, it might've seemed like just a GH copy but they gave it that something extra to widen the appeal. if they could do that with a new guitar-only game they could build on RS's audience rather than merely just riding its coattails. now going multi-instrument wouldn't be the right way (better to focus on just one instrument than watering it down on multiple instruments) but i'm sure HMX could think of other things that would expand on what RS does. RS as a game really is pretty bare bones, the menu system is horrible, and there's no significant online component, so right there there's a lot of room for improvement, and if you add a couple game-changing features that draw people in more, it could be a successful game. not to RB levels, of course, but respectable enough to sell well and challenge RS in that market.
  • SecretSelfSecretSelf Unsigned
    edited January 2013
    I guess I don't understand why you can't hire more people to focus on keeping RB going, and put out more DLC instead of less. With the amount of money spent on DLC for this game, players with thousands of songs, I don't get why it has to die off so quickly to rush out more titles. It's a real community with a passion for music, and going to 3 songs every other week or even every week is just... sad. Hire some people and train them to get *more* DLC out every week - 10 songs, 20 songs... it's more money for the company. If games have gotten to the point where a lifespan only a few years, and then they are abandoned by the company (Lips, anyone? GH?), I have no plans on buying any more games reliant on DLC.

    But it's very upsetting to see the company letting the game just fade away and leaving it up to the RBN creators, who have to pay to even get started, to provide their customers with content.

    Come on, Harmonix... it's a great game and unless you're making RB4, which there have been zero indications of, I would rather keep this going, and using lack of enough employees to process the DLC as the reason doesn't seem realistic. People would kill to work at your company if given the chance, and it's a choice if you divert your resources away from this massive game and its ongoing updates after such a small amount of time. You could fill that staffing hole if you chose. There are certainly an enormous number of people playing on multiple platforms, why rush away so quickly?

    I'm really, really disappointed. "The most loyal fans" may become a very small group if that's the plan.

    Can you tell us *anything* that makes this less bad?

    Thanks,
    Karen
  • bonethug0108bonethug0108 Headliner
    edited January 2013
    firedoom666;4956964 said:
    so every other week will be Blitz songs?

    that means we will only be getting blitz songs on my birthday :(

    Same as me this coming week! But I was expecting something I wasn't going to like anyway given the "clue" and blitz trend.

    Sad to hear things may be slowing down further, but the train is still rolling and has been for 5+ years. Thnks fr th Mmrs! I look forward to whatever else we'll be getting.
  • UltimetalheadUltimetalhead Unsigned
    edited January 2013
    Really, as long as RBN keeps pumping out awesome stuff, I'll be okay. It's a little sad to see the main DLC turn into what it is now, but whatever.

    Just give us Primus already. Dear god.
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited January 2013
    The only question I have is why the plan to release the Blitz tracks as DLC wasn't made clearer at the start.

    Don't get me wrong, Blitz can be a fun game, but I know having the knowledge that I could buy the songs I wanted and avoid the ones I didn't probably would have had an impact on my purchase of the game.

    (Although with the price of the game being what it is and there being 7+ songs I would've downloaded as singles, I can look at it as paying for the songs I like and getting the ones I dislike for free.)
  • GraphicMangGraphicMang Rising Star
    edited January 2013
    still 3 songs max a week right? so many questions
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited January 2013
    I suppose the nice thing about this announcement is that it at least is prepping people for "the winter slowdown" that normally happens. If you look back on previous years, December - April/May has been the months with the least amount of new content.

    That said, the last slowdown resulted in 3 songs a week becoming the norm again. From my understanding, 3 songs a week will still be the norm. Also, from my understanding, it seems like HMX is using the Blitz songs as a net so that they can release something while working on charting new songs.

    I guess the thing I'm trying to say is I don't understand some of the doom and gloom. Although I guess doom and gloom has always been the name of the game in this section of the forums.
  • runninbadrunninbad Unsigned
    edited January 2013
    I'm probably in the majority of those who own both RB and Blitz in that I buy DLC to play in RB with the added benefit of being able to play it in Blitz. I bought Blitz for the songs and while I enjoy the game, I couldn't see myself ever buying DLC for the sole purpose of playing it Blitz. I'd be interested to know how many people who only own Blitz are actually buying DLC. My guess is not as much as HMX would like.
  • NightmareLyreNightmareLyre Rising Star
    edited January 2013
    SecretSelf;4957092 said:
    I guess I don't understand why you can't hire more people to focus on keeping RB going, and put out more DLC instead of less. With the amount of money spent on DLC for this game, players with thousands of songs, I don't get why it has to die off so quickly to rush out more titles. It's a real community with a passion for music, and going to 3 songs every other week or even every week is just... sad. Hire some people and train them to get *more* DLC out every week - 10 songs, 20 songs... it's more money for the company. If games have gotten to the point where a lifespan only a few years, and then they are abandoned by the company (Lips, anyone? GH?), I have no plans on buying any more games reliant on DLC.

    But it's very upsetting to see the company letting the game just fade away and leaving it up to the RBN creators, who have to pay to even get started, to provide their customers with content.

    Come on, Harmonix... it's a great game and unless you're making RB4, which there have been zero indications of, I would rather keep this going, and using lack of enough employees to process the DLC as the reason doesn't seem realistic. People would kill to work at your company if given the chance, and it's a choice if you divert your resources away from this massive game and its ongoing updates after such a small amount of time. You could fill that staffing hole if you chose. There are certainly an enormous number of people playing on multiple platforms, why rush away so quickly?

    I'm really, really disappointed. "The most loyal fans" may become a very small group if that's the plan.

    Can you tell us *anything* that makes this less bad?

    Thanks,
    Karen

    Pretty much this.

    Also I would have been willing to work for HMX for a bowl of rice a day and my own private snazz parade once a year, I would even be willing to do the *censored M-rated lyric* kissing.
  • edited January 2013
    Blasteroids;4956948 said:
    Why don't you love me anymore?
    We never stopped loving you, not for a second.
    randrac;4956960 said:
    Does this mean that we can expect, ongoing, fewer than 3 songs, which was already pretty paltry? If so, I think I'm done with caring about weekly DLC.
    The number of songs released on a weekly basis will still average around 3.
    firedoom666;4956964 said:
    so every other week will be Blitz songs?

    Correct. Next week is Week 269 of DLC and will only feature Blitz tracks. The week after, Tuesday 1/15, is Week 270 of DLC and will include new content for those that already own Blitz. The schedule will continue to alternate, with odd weeks getting Blitz singles and even weeks getting all new content.
    tnevaker;4957035 said:
    as you've surely seen with this week, there is a much, much larger segment of the community interested in having new songs to purchase every week.... but if there IS anything you can do to add new content to those upcoming blitz weeks, like you did with the GDRB release week, i hope you will.
    A negative response from the forums was fully expected, but the forums are nowhere near representative of the entirety of the RB community. The forum community is the most likely to have purchased Blitz at launch or while on sale because they are the most plugged in, they are the completionists, the ones most likely to try a new twist on the traditional RB game play. Of course forum regulars would have loved to see new content alongside the Blitz single releases, but for all the production and bandwidth reasons mentioned in the FAQ it wasn't a possibility.

    But it's worth noting that there are a great many people that didn't buy Blitz, and anyone on the Wii has never had the option to purchase these songs before. The size of that addressable community alone is more than the active user base on the forums. We're not releasing Blitz tracks as singles because we are mean or lazy, it's because DLC will reach a lot of people that Blitz didn't. We've done this before with track packs and more recently with GD:RB and we have a pretty solid grasp on requests not just from the forums, but from Facebook, Twitter, PMs, emails, conventions, phone calls, and actual mail. Again, I'm not trying to convince anyone that purchased Blitz that this is for them, I just want to reiterate that the community is larger than the forums.
    Scythemaster 37;4957045 said:
    My question is, after the blitz singles all come out, are you going to continue to release weekly DLC? Or will it be the end of weekly DLC and start bi-weekly DLC?
    As with regular DLC announcements, i.e. announcing weekly rather than monthly or announcing batches of upcoming releases all at once, we try to avoid commenting too far out because the schedule / production / testing / submission can still change. We'll have more info as we get closer to releasing all of the Blitz singles.
    MemoDLSG;4957048 said:
    1. What will happen to the livestream? Will it become bi-weekly? Will you replay Blitz songs? Will you time DC3 DLC to be on the "off-weeks" of RB DLC? (IIRC DC doesn't have an as predictable release schedule compared to RB but they get DLC 2 or 3 times a month, so...)
    The livestream should continue on the weekly schedule and will remain a Harmonix showcase, not a show dedicated to one specific game. We'll continue to have RB content, DC content, general discussion, Q&A, and announcements for upcoming titles once they are announced.

    We're still discussing RB plans for those Blitz DLC weeks since many of the regulars may already be familiar with the charts. We may still preview them for those that didn't purchase Blitz and Wii owners, or we may supplement with Pro charts, or additional trivia, or live performances, etc. We're still discussing how the livestreams will look so feel free to post any suggestions in the official livestream discussion thread.
  • illarionillarion Unsigned
    edited January 2013
    Have to say, this is disappointing. I suspect the majority of dedicated fans will already have bought Blitz for the songs, even if they aren't that thrilled by the game - that certainly applies to me.

    More generally though, I'm afraid the DLC has been - well, pretty weak, for a pretty long time. I'm a pretty damn loyal customer, I downright WANT to spend money on songs for Rock Band - but I'm only going to do so for songs I at least like.

    It's been a really long time since there was a DLC song I was genuinely excited about, and even "well, I kinda like that - ok I guess" songs are pretty few and far between these days. My DLC spend has dropped precipitously, and it's really down to the song selection being made available.

    It really seems like the DLC has gone in a direction well away from any of the *many* (and varied) genres that excite me. So many bands I've never heard of (partly just not being American maybe?).

    I've posted in suggestion threads here, I've put things in my wishlist on rockbandworld - I've never seen any result from either. It doesn't seem like we have much influence on song selection, if any.

    To reiterate - when someone is trying to give you money, but can't find a product they want to buy - it may be time to rethink the product.

    EDIT: Reading over that, it comes across as way more negative than intended. I love Rock Band, and I love Harmonix. It just gets a little depressing when I go to check out the new DLC and see a three pack by yet another band I've never heard of.
  • HetzHetz Rising Star
    edited January 2013
    Wow, this is even worse than I thought it would be. Such a shame.

    Also, from the tone of HMXHenry's latest post, it would seem that weekly DLC will be over once the Blitz tracks are done (ie. "we will have more info when we get closer to releasing all the Blitz singles"). That just screams, yeah we are done with the weekly thing....but there is no way I am telling you all that now! Though, if you want my advice, if it really will be going to bi-weekly, I'd just get it over with now and tell us. It's better to get it out of the way now, rather than having another forum meltdown in 3 months.
  • Scythemaster 37Scythemaster 37 Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    hmxhenry;4957120 said:

    As with regular DLC announcements, i.e. announcing weekly rather than monthly or announcing batches of upcoming releases all at once, we try to avoid commenting too far out because the schedule / production / testing / submission can still change. We'll have more info as we get closer to releasing all of the Blitz singles.

    Well I hope even after the Blitz singles are released, you continue releasing DLC. Hell, I'd be ok with just one song a week, and if bi-weekly is what you have to stick to after the singles are out, then so be it. I just really hope it doesn't stop and that we have DLC somehow in the foreseeable future :(

    I love this idea for releasing them. I mean, sure it's not ideal for me being an Xbox player, but it's an affordable solution that is better for the casual community. Plenty of people that just casually play rock band at parties and don't know about Blitz may just check the RB store one night before their RB party and see that "Moves Like Jagger" is available, not even realizing it was previously available through Blitz, ect with the future releases. Plus the Blitz soundtrack is awesome and I'm really glad the Wii players are getting the chance to play the tracks.
  • APackofRabidSquirrelsAPackofRabidSquirrels Opening Act
    edited January 2013
    All of that said, Henry, for those of us on the outside looking in - at least with GD:RB, more tracks were released in a stupendously smaller amount of time, with an average "loss" of one week of DLC (since three new tracks were ultimately released over the two weeks the GD songs were released). Now, though...this is a different beast. From where I'm sitting, it appears to be a sizable reallocation of Harmonix employees and time to (apparently) non-RB business. Which, from the FAQ, sounds like that's where we're at.

    I think what really leaves us scratching our heads is that, if DLC truly is profitable, how is releasing smaller quantities (especially, in this case, knowing that the die-hards won't be buying these tracks) a viable business decision?
  • edited January 2013
    SecretSelf;4957092 said:
    I guess I don't understand why you can't hire more people to focus on keeping RB going, and put out more DLC instead of less.
    Without getting into the financial specifics of why "just hire more people!" isn't a viable solution, the larger issue is that the music gaming genre isn't as strong as it was a few years ago. In 2012 we didn't release as many songs on average as we did in 2011, and in 2011 we didn't release as many songs on average as we did in 2010. Output hasn't changed because we're mean or we're lazy or we want to punish out community, it's changed as the size and the relative interest of the community has changed.
    SecretSelf;4957092 said:
    With the amount of money spent on DLC for this game, players with thousands of songs, I don't get why it has to die off so quickly to rush out more titles.
    I'm a bit confused as to what you mean by "quickly" here. We've been releasing weekly DLC for Rock Band for over 5 years, and we've continued to support RB3 for over two and a half years after launch. Scaling down new releases 2+ years after release doesn't feel like a quick drop off to me, and compared to the industry standard, there are very few games receiving any support even a year after release.

    We've supported RB for as long as we have because it means just as much to us as it does to you.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited January 2013
    So the pick-n-choose people won HMX over it seems...

    There were also a lot of people that were vocal and wanted Blitz to be released all at one time (myself included), I guess these people just got ignored and hit with a "too much bandwidth" excuse. That's hard to take considering there were just like 40 Green Day songs released in one week not all that long ago and now a couple months later, releasing half that much of songs in one week is "too much bandwidth"...
  • edited January 2013
    APackofRabidSquirrels;4957133 said:
    All of that said, Henry, for those of us on the outside looking in - at least with GD:RB, more tracks were released in a stupendously smaller amount of time, with an average "loss" of one week of DLC (since three new tracks were ultimately released over the two weeks the GD songs were released). Now, though...this is a different beast. From where I'm sitting, it appears to be a sizable reallocation of Harmonix employees and time to (apparently) non-RB business. Which, from the FAQ, sounds like that's where we're at.

    I think what really leaves us scratching our heads is that, if DLC truly is profitable, how is releasing smaller quantities (especially, in this case, knowing that the die-hards won't be buying these tracks) a viable business decision?
    That's a totally fair question. Again, without getting into financial specifics, a lot of it has to do with 1) production bandwidth and 2) the fact that the die-hards are far from the only people buying DLC.

    The GD:RB re releases were released relatively close together (in 2 different packs, 6 weeks apart), because that's what the production schedule allowed. Other track packs have been broken up into smaller packs released over longer periods of time because, at the time, that's what the production schedule allowed for. Just because songs have been previously released that doesn't mean we're able to drag and drop them into a DLC bin. That would be a lot easier for all involved, believe me. Song files are reformatted, re tested, and submitted to first party. First party then has to test them, and often their production schedule prevents them from taking on huge batches at once. Remember, we are the only group submitting DLC on a weekly basis, so we already give first party enough to work with. So on top of our production bandwidth, it's unlikely we would have been able to submit 25+ songs to first party all at once (especially considering an already packed holiday games schedule and select first parties taking extended holiday breaks).
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    Thank you for leveling our expectations. Much appreciated.

    The end might not be beyond the horizon anymore, but there's still some journey left to get there.

    It's been a heck of a ride, and it...ain't...over...quite...yet.
  • edited January 2013
    Mega-Tallica;4957146 said:
    That's hard to take considering there were just like 40 Green Day songs released in one week not all that long ago and now a couple months later, releasing half that much of songs in one week is "too much bandwidth"...

    Yes, submitting songs in October for a November release is very different than submitting songs in December for a January release. As mentioned in the post above, first party has bandwidth issues of their own and with tons of other games releasing content around holiday, plus extended holiday outages at Sony, submitting in December is a whole different ball of wax.

    Additionally, our internal development is much different now than it was in October. We're developing a number of games internally and production has ramped up considerably for those titles since then.
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    hmxhenry;4957139 said:
    [snip]Without getting into the financial specifics of why "just hire more people!" isn't a viable solution,[/snip]
    Very diplomatically done.

    I probably would've replied "These go to eleven!"
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited January 2013
    Please make these new games at least as good, if not better than, the RB series of games. I have $120 worth of PSN cards gifted to me over the holidays and seeing that I only buy RB DLC, I will soon need to find a new way to spend it! Don't let it go to waste HMX!
  • crash13crash13 Jiminy jillickers!
    edited January 2013
    Henry, is it possible to know how far out dlc has been planned for? I understand you can't strait up tell us, but if there is any indication of this train coming to a stop, it would be good to know. I'm more of an optimist, so I'd like to think we aren't running out of fuel till a whiles down the road, but others in the community seem to be pessimistic towards the situation.
  • peterock2007peterock2007 Road Warrior
    edited January 2013
    I was once told by Henry that dlc wouldn't be pulled out from under us like a rug, let's see if that's still true.
  • DangimarockerDangimarocker Headliner
    edited January 2013
    crash13;4957169 said:
    Henry, is it possible to know how far out dlc has been planned for? I understand you can't strait up tell us, but if there is any indication of this train coming to a stop, it would be good to know. I'm more of an optimist, so I'd like to think we aren't running out of fuel till a whiles down the road, but others in the community seem to be pessimistic towards the situation.

    I would like some sort of estimate too...
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