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April 2
2013

Bye, Bye, Rock Band DLC

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After 281 weeks and over 4,000 songs, today marks the last regular DLC update for the Rock Band Music Store with the release of Don McLean’s “American Pie.” You can purchase this final track for $1.99, and while it contains a keyboard part, there’s no Pro Guitar or Pro Bass upgrade for it.

Harmonix should be commended, though, for maintaining this mind-boggling release schedule for the past five years. DLC is crucial for music games, because while the game discs are forced to contain a variety of genres, it’s with the DLC where you can cherry pick your favorite artists and tracks to create your own personal perfect song library. And I’m still holding out hope that this isn’t completely the end, as they’ve made a point of specifying it’s the end of “weekly Rock Band DLC.” And while Harmonix has no current plans to produce any new DLC, they “still have the technical capability should the right band and the right opportunity arise.”

The Rock Central servers will continue functioning for the forseeable future, so you’ll still be able to challenge your friends on the leaderboards and play online with them. And the Rock Band Network will continue to be supported, so users can still submit new content. Unfortunately, that’s only going to continue on Xbox 360, because due to the different PlayStation 3 submission procedures, the last PS3 PSN update will be today as well.

But thank you Harmonix for the years of letting us rock out to a constant stream of new music with our plastic instruments. I can’t wait to see what you have coming up next!

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About Chris Eades

(Writer) I love Animal Crossing, music games (even though I can't sing or play instruments) and adventure games. And the occasional 40+ hr JRPG when I can find the time! I live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband and our hamster, Ch'p.

One Response

  1. avatar Shin Gallon says:

    This makes me sad. I’ve had a lot of fun hours with these games. I never bought any of the Guitar Hero games, playing them instead at friends’ places, but when I first saw the polish and sheen that Rock Band 1 had, I knew I’d have to buy my own music game finally.
    I ended up holding out for Rock Band 2, though, and purchased a used copy of the first game to import the tracks into 2′s library (still one of the best possible decisions Harmonix ever made with the series was the nearly complete cross-compatability with the songs from one game to the next).
    I also ended up getting The Beatles Rock Band (and the John Lennon Rickenbacker, which is still my default guitar to use) and enjoyed that immensely as well despite Harmonix not following through on their promise to have The Beatles’ entire catalog in the game eventually…I’ll never be able to play Hey Jude or Elanor Rigby, sadly.
    It’s a shame they’re not continuing the RBN updates for the PS3, since that’s the system I bought these games on (and subsequently sunk a small fortune into songs for both games), but unlike Activision, Harmonix realized that yearly updates weren’t the way to support a game like this, and instead gave us years of updates when most companies would have quit after 6 months.
    It’s the end of an era, as one of my favorite genres of the last decade plays it’s swan song. I don’t play nearly as much as I used to (for a few years Friday night Rock Band was a weekly tradition with some friends and I) but I still pick up my plastic ax every so often to play a setlist or two.
    Thank you, Harmonix, for introducing me to some bands I’d never have listened to otherwise, and for the years of memories.

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