Future of Rock Band? (RB5??)

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Hi everyone-
I hope this post doesn't get deleted. :smile:

I was wondering if there are any rumors about what might be coming down the pipe for Rock Band. I'm still playing, my kids are still playing, their friends are still playing, and I'm still buying songs. Maybe we're a rarity, but it's still a blast, and I really want this franchise to continue.

Can HMX give us a teaser? Or anything? :smile:
Thanks!
Ted

PS. I play on a Roland eKit with the midi adapter and the PDP adapter and it works awesome.

Comments

  • The future of RB is still RB4 and will likely stay this path at least until the current gen consoles get true successors (e.g. PS5). All we know about specifics is that RB4 is getting an update in early 2018 which improves online multiplayer.
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior
    For a while, I was assuming the next big multiplayer update would come between this season and the next. But with this season almost over and no word on the update, that isn't looking likely.

    But yeah, I'd like it if Harmonix stayed true to their word of Rock Band 4 truly being a platform and put out another paid expansion.

    New hardware is a whole other can of worms. I guess PDP is still the manufacturer/publisher? There isn't even info on where to buy the game or instruments on their site. All the info is from 2016 about pre-ordering Rivals (which of course all link to dead pages).
  • grumblevolcanogrumblevolcano Headliner
    edited February 14
    You don't necessarily need a 2nd expansion for RB4 to be a platform. All you need is content updates (which is happening), new DLC (which is happening), all RBVR songs being playable in RB4 (which hopefully isn't far off) and legacy DLC being fixed (which isn't too far off completion).

    That said, it would be nice if it happened provided hardware bundles existed (RB4 is just a karaoke machine without the hardware) and the multiplayer update worked well (new expansion while online is broken really wouldn't go down well at all).
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior

    You don't necessarily need a 2nd expansion for RB4 to be a platform. All you need is content updates (which is happening), new DLC (which is happening), all RBVR songs being playable in RB4 (which hopefully isn't far off) and legacy DLC being fixed (which isn't too far off completion).

    That said, it would be nice if it happened provided hardware bundles existed (RB4 is just a karaoke machine without the hardware) and the multiplayer update worked well (new expansion while online is broken really wouldn't go down well at all).

    Yeah, but the original RB4 announcement said RB4 would do away with sequels because it's a platform. Rivals didn't exactly add enough that I would call it a sequel. If anything, they're just bringing the game up to par with what a full fledged Rock Band game should be.

    I'd love to see a large scale, sequel-esque expansion with a setlist (of bands people have actually heard of), campaign, added features, etc. I'd honestly pay full price again for a full fledged, downloadable update. At this point, Rock Band 4 is nearly 2 and a half years old, and it's showing. I'm not expecting a massive, 85 song setlist, but ~30 songs by actual big name artists would go a long way. Then again, I wasn't exactly blown away by the Rivals Pre-Order pack, so it really depends on the songs.

    Rivals didn't exactly add a TON of stuff to the game. I played through Rockudrama twice, Rivals mode itself is just glorified Quickplay, and personally, I barely touch the free songs that are bundled into Rivals.
  • grumblevolcanogrumblevolcano Headliner
    edited February 14
    tdc002 said:

    You don't necessarily need a 2nd expansion for RB4 to be a platform. All you need is content updates (which is happening), new DLC (which is happening), all RBVR songs being playable in RB4 (which hopefully isn't far off) and legacy DLC being fixed (which isn't too far off completion).

    That said, it would be nice if it happened provided hardware bundles existed (RB4 is just a karaoke machine without the hardware) and the multiplayer update worked well (new expansion while online is broken really wouldn't go down well at all).

    Yeah, but the original RB4 announcement said RB4 would do away with sequels because it's a platform. Rivals didn't exactly add enough that I would call it a sequel. If anything, they're just bringing the game up to par with what a full fledged Rock Band game should be.

    I'd love to see a large scale, sequel-esque expansion with a setlist (of bands people have actually heard of), campaign, added features, etc. I'd honestly pay full price again for a full fledged, downloadable update. At this point, Rock Band 4 is nearly 2 and a half years old, and it's showing. I'm not expecting a massive, 85 song setlist, but ~30 songs by actual big name artists would go a long way. Then again, I wasn't exactly blown away by the Rivals Pre-Order pack, so it really depends on the songs.

    Rivals didn't exactly add a TON of stuff to the game. I played through Rockudrama twice, Rivals mode itself is just glorified Quickplay, and personally, I barely touch the free songs that are bundled into Rivals.
    If a sequel doesn't happen until next gen, the original RB4 announcement is still true. Anyway, the direction Rivals has taken for post-launch content has been community related. People massively complained about no online in the base game so online was added in Rivals, people then largely complained about the online when it came (broken, no playing with randoms, no playing with other local people, etc.) so the direction Rivals took was making the online better (e.g. checking setlist fixed, the early 2018 multiplayer update). Maybe if people cared less about online, something else would've happened instead.

    By the way, I'm pretty sure HMX already said the reason no setlist was attached to Rivals was because of the difference in licensing between disc songs and DLC (i.e. after 5 years, disc setlists are always delisted whereas if the same content is DLC it'll likely last longer) hence why there was preorder DLC instead.
  • Legoyodax said:

    I've found that Rivals has kept me playing. I like the aysynchronous multiplayer and the weekly rotation of music for the challenges. Never really cared for on line 1-2-1 play so tried it once,thought 'meh' and never went back. I have played through the Rocudrama many many times though, Found it throoughly enjoyable.

    Rockudrama was really awesome.
  • lmxlmx
    edited February 15
    I definitely think another hard reboot would be good for the franchise. Call it “Rock Band”, not “Rock Band 5”, implement all the features that were supposed to be present at launch for RB4 (possibly in 4K) and PROMOTE THE BACK CATALOGUE! The series always sees a huge boost in DLC sales when a proper expansion releases and while they are paying to keep the content currently live licensed they need to market it correctly so that new and returning adopters are aware. I think they missed out on this when RB4 shipped which is a shame. With refreshed interest they need to capitalize on selling what they already have available, and what has been missed since people ditched RB4 post-launch.
  • tdc002 said:



    I'd love to see a large scale, sequel-esque expansion with a setlist (of bands people have actually heard of), campaign, added features, etc. I'd honestly pay full price again for a full fledged, downloadable update. At this point, Rock Band 4 is nearly 2 and a half years old, and it's showing. I'm not expecting a massive, 85 song setlist, but ~30 songs by actual big name artists would go a long way. Then again, I wasn't exactly blown away by the Rivals Pre-Order pack, so it really depends on the songs.

    Exactly the reason I started this post. I feel there needs to be an RB5 (or whatever you want to call it) because I don't think all the features everyone wants will work with the current RB4.

    Every time I've been given an opportunity to provide feedback on this game, I've said (IMHO) what a future Rock Band title needs (expansion or reboot).

    1) Peripherals, peripherals, peripherals. The jaguar guitar was a great step in the right direction. But people want to feel like rockers. I'm lucky in that I get to play my full e-kit with RB4, but if you want to get new kids into the game, you gotta make it "cool". That means cooler peripherals.

    2) Less cartoony characters with all the customization that RB3 had (esp on instruments).

    3) A long campaign where you have to choose where you're going to play next, each venue has ups and downs, based on real-life venues (smaller venues won't pay as much, but will net you new fans if you play well), along with a calendar that includes drive time (later flight time if you have your own jet :wink: ), so if you play one venue on a Fri night, you can't play a different venue that night, and might lose out on an opportunity. Hire/fire managers, who give you access to better (or worse venues). Forget the details of my idea, let's all just agree a different campaign than the "go here/play this" campaign we got with RB4.

    4) A coupon for 50 songs to download online for free, rather than 80 out of 85 songs I hate.

    5) Way more instruments in-game (esp for drums)

    6) ALL of the current features of RB4 (rivals/rockudrama,etc)

    7) Being able to design your own stage (hey, I'm asking for the world anyway...)

    8) Tons more songs (though this is somewhat solved by weekly DLC, I'm still not getting to play the bands I want. Apparently In This Moment and Five Finger Death Punch, among others, aren't popular enough).
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior
    Throvolos said:


    2) Less cartoony characters with all the customization that RB3 had (esp on instruments).

    3) A long campaign where you have to choose where you're going to play next, each venue has ups and downs, based on real-life venues (smaller venues won't pay as much, but will net you new fans if you play well), along with a calendar that includes drive time (later flight time if you have your own jet :wink: ), so if you play one venue on a Fri night, you can't play a different venue that night, and might lose out on an opportunity. Hire/fire managers, who give you access to better (or worse venues). Forget the details of my idea, let's all just agree a different campaign than the "go here/play this" campaign we got with RB4.

    4) A coupon for 50 songs to download online for free, rather than 80 out of 85 songs I hate.


    You think RB3's characters were LESS cartoony? They all looked like they benched 350 lbs and had weird, plastic Lego hair.

    Also, Rock Band 2 had more customization than RB3. RB3 had random dead zones on the guitars where you couldn't add any art, which kind of ruined custom art on instruments. Same with trying to do tattoos, IIRC.

    And the 50 free songs thing is never gonna happen. People have suggested it before, but it kind of defeats the point of having an on-disc setlist. The whole reason the game comes with a uniform list of songs is so everyone has the same baseline songs for online play, achievements, etc. The back library is so huge, if you gave everyone 50 free songs, the odds of two people picking the exact same 50 would be slim to nil.
  • They really just need to get RB picked up by another publisher like EA. I am willing to believe that they are capable of great things with the financial backing (look at DropMix)
  • GLaDOSGLaDOS Opening Act
    I don't know which publisher would want Harmonix these days. They seem like way too big of a risk given that they specialize in what is now a very niche genre. Also they seem to enjoy their independence? Would be nice to get some more dollars thrown at Rock Band though.
  • SmashManSmashMan Rising Star
    lmx said:

    They really just need to get RB picked up by another publisher like EA. I am willing to believe that they are capable of great things with the financial backing (look at DropMix)

    You're not entirely wrong, but suggesting anything other than an independent Harmonix is probably not going to go over that well around here.
  • After the stuff surrounding Battlefront 2 (2017),yeah...yeah no EA's the last publisher that should be near this franchise
  • V8VANTAGEV8VANTAGE Road Warrior
    edited February 16
    I don't really see the point of a Rock Band 5 to be honest, unless it was some sort of paid upgrade like a downloadable pack as an expansion.

    If they do go down the retail route again they will also need to resolve the issue for instrument availability internationally. I need a new guitar and drum kit as they keep disconnecting from the xbox but I can't find them separately for a reasonable price without the disc.

    If you think about it, Rock Band has become what Microsoft has done with Windows 10. They're just got a solid platform and adding to it and improving it as they go along.
  • LoopyChew said:

    After the stuff surrounding Battlefront 2 (2017),yeah...yeah no EA's the last publisher that should be near this franchise

    Someone last night was asking about when Harmonix would come out with a "lute box" and I think it should be an actual instrument model that also happens to be the only paid cosmetic unlock in the game.
    Did you mean "flute box"?

    More Jethro Tull confirmed :p
  • meck77meck77 Road Warrior
    After the live feed last night it sounds like RB4 will be around for awhile with more updates, DLC they seemed pretty excited about and a whole new online multiplayer setup. I would agree with @V8VANTAGE that there is no point in RB5 right now. RB4 is as smooth as its ever been & I'm loving it. Keep the dlc coming HMX
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited February 16
    The point of a new title would be new customers. You can’t reel in new customers without a product launch (and all the advertising, game review sites, and a spike of word-of-mouth buzz that comes with that) and for a game with dedicated peripherals, without a means to get new peripherals to interested new adopters.

    It’s easy to see ‘no point’ from our perspective - we are the already enfranchised, the dedicated audience. We largely have the peripherals, we buy the dlc. But we do inevitably dwindle. We may be a more dedicated fandom than most, but attrition is definitely a thing. Every month the franchise loses more players than it gains, because it largely doesn’t have a viable means of gaining new players. It may not be a risk worth taking because it would be costly, but that would be the ‘point’ of a reboot/relaunch. It’s the only way to move the needle on new adopters and get a new generation of fresh blood playing the game.


    I do really wonder where things would be right now if Activision didn’t kamikaze the one chance at this genre getting a substantial foothold this gen. RB4 entering the market alone could have been a very different thing than what we got, RB4 entering market and immediately competing with GHLive, effectively splitting the audience in half and severely impacting brick-and-mortar stores’ willingness to dedicate floor space to peripheral sales.
  • yoann007yoann007 Unsigned
    edited February 16

    The point of a new title would be new customers. You can’t reel in new customers without a product launch (and all the advertising, game review sites, and a spike of word-of-mouth buzz that comes with that) and for a game with dedicated peripherals, without a means to get new peripherals to interested new adopters.

    That's true. To a certain extent.

    Harmonix has to serve two purposes which are somehow hard to put together:
    1) satisfy the existing customer base. As in: regular weekly DLCs, smooth song compatibility (any new title would bring back the export issues we've known in the past), game updates (both free and paid, preferably free), and as much a hardware compatibility as possibly can be since they probably don't want to buy new instruments if they don't need to.
    2) bring new customers to the franchise. As in: marketing, attractiveness, presence in retail stores (with a range of instrument pack options), musical genres and new game features that'd appeal to those not convinced by Rock Band before...

    What they tried with Rock Band Rivals was, I believe, the right thing to do: a simple extension instead of a new game entirely, with a re-release for the marketing part and those in need of instruments, without breaking anything compatibility-wise. Admittedly, it didn't work out too great in stores but I think PDP is the one to blame there, unfortunately. The manufacturer part has always been a big issue in Harmonix past, and being an indie (vs. the tremendous financial weight of Activision's Guitar Hero Live back in 2015), with Madcatz nowhere around anymore, is not helping.
  • It's hard to bring in new customers though, look at the money they would have to spend to get started.

    The only thing we should've gotten from GH Live was extra guitars but they even screwed that up.
  • SmashManSmashMan Rising Star

    I do really wonder where things would be right now if Activision didn’t kamikaze the one chance at this genre getting a substantial foothold this gen. RB4 entering the market alone could have been a very different thing than what we got, RB4 entering market and immediately competing with GHLive, effectively splitting the audience in half and severely impacting brick-and-mortar stores’ willingness to dedicate floor space to peripheral sales.

    At some point we've really got to stop blaming Activision for everything. People got tired of rhythm games? Activision's (and only Activision's) fault. Rock Band 4 didn't have the launch that was hoped for? Activision's fault. Rock Band Rivals relaunch also didn't go over as well as hoped? Somehow, Activision's fault, I assume.

    Here? We're dedicated, but it's to a niche corner of the market that most gamers got their fill of years ago. Neither game, even being the only one on the shelves, was going to light up the sales charts.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    SmashMan said:

    Neither game, even being the only one on the shelves, was going to light up the sales charts.

    I completely agree. Which is why taking such a small niche market and dividing it in half was so devastating. I recognize I’m specking from the RB fan perspective when I say Activision gummed things up for RB, and I fully recognize that it is also true that RB gummed things up for activision too. Two competitors entered a market that was arguably ambitious for one product, and both suffered for it.

    I jut care more about the damage GH did to RB than the damage RB did to GH, because RB is the one that did and tried things I wanted to see thrive.
  • grumblevolcanogrumblevolcano Headliner
    edited February 16
    I'd say Microsoft, Sony and Madcatz/PDP are more to blame for the RB4 era issues than Activision. Microsoft and Sony because of entitlement issues and Madcatz/PDP because of instrument shortages for RB4/Rivals. It really doesn't look good if lots of DLC is broken (either not getting anything when you buy or showing a price if you've already bought) and there's not enough instrument bundles.

    Oversaturation in 2009 was pretty much Activision's fault alone however.

    What matters the most about the RB4 situation is that HMX did not give up despite the problems. They worked with Microsoft, SIEA and SIEE to continue sorting out entitlements over the RB4 era and here we are nearly 2 and a half years later with all 3 platforms nearing completion. Hopefully we'll get some news on the hardware front sometime this year.
  • White_PawZWhite_PawZ Road Warrior
    I wonder how many people are actively playing the game now. Based on Rivals crew stats (on Xbox anyway) it seems like a decent number. I was actually a little surprised at the number of crews and people playing Rivals. And that's just Rivals crews... DLC leaderboards have thousands of scores posted even for recent or new DLC, so people are still buying songs and playing.

    Honestly the most exciting part of "RB5" to me would be songs, so I would rather see some large DLC packs and periodic updates instead.

    I do think that the recent use of less than perfect stems probably opens up some doors for DLC that might not have been possible before.

  • djb5f1djb5f1 Unsigned
    There won't be an RB5 for this gen (unless a surprise change in direction). I hope there is a game available on next-gen and that I can transfer my songs as eventually we will switch over to the current consoles.

    That is why I didn't bother to buy any of the RBN songs with the announcement of them being pulled. Since they are stuck on last gen, and I almost never fire up my ps3 and my guitar doesn't work well (and no cheap replacement available), it certainly seemed like a waste.

    And yes, each disc release has been great for expanding your music library. Even if RB4 set list was a little underwhelming, it was still a welcome addition. A huge part of why Blitz was so awesome wasn't the game itself but the songs you could import into Rock Band.
  • djb5f1djb5f1 Unsigned

    I'm not looking forward to "next gen" already! We just got all settled in and comfy on this gen!

    Oh I hear you. PS2 came out in 2000, PS3 in 2006, and PS4 in 2013. Shelf lives may be slightly extended with each passing generation (and with the PS4 Pro and upgraded Xbox) but we are probably over the half-way point.

    I have bought so many songs ($$) over the last year, I don't want them to go obsolete. But we have some time. Now, if Playstation would ever have the DLC sales that Xbox seems to have regularly, I would expand my catalog that much more!
  • djb5f1 said:

    I'm not looking forward to "next gen" already! We just got all settled in and comfy on this gen!

    Oh I hear you. PS2 came out in 2000, PS3 in 2006, and PS4 in 2013. Shelf lives may be slightly extended with each passing generation (and with the PS4 Pro and upgraded Xbox) but we are probably over the half-way point.

    I have bought so many songs ($$) over the last year, I don't want them to go obsolete. But we have some time. Now, if Playstation would ever have the DLC sales that Xbox seems to have regularly, I would expand my catalog that much more!
    And it really sucks about this gen is that it took forever for it to kick off. The game production was very slow from 2013- almost the end of '14. I will definitely be waiting 2-4 years for the next gen console. PS4's launch was just awful...

    With that said, I am shocked they don't do DLC sales.
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