Like a warning shot across the Guitar Hero: World Tour bow, Rock Band 2 was announced today. The new Rock Band will add more music, new online modes, and improved drum and guitar peripherals. Additionally, the original Rock Band Online Music Store passed 15 million downloads all of which will be compatible with Rock Band 2. Interestingly, Rock Band 2 will make an “exclusive debut on Xbox 360 this September.” Here’s the press release:
Cambridge, Mass. – June 30, 2008 – Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game company in the world, and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), along with marketing and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), are taking the groundbreaking music platform that forever changed the face of music video games to the next level this September with the release of Rock Band 2. With the original providing millions of players a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, Rock Band 2 is the next evolution of the franchise that redefined the standard for music games.
Rock Band is the groundbreaking platform that allows music fans and gamers to interact with music like never before – challenging players to put together a band and tour for fame and fortune while learning to master lead/bass guitar, drums and vocals.
Rock Band 2 builds upon its foundation as the first music game to introduce co-operative band gameplay, multiple instruments, a robust online multiplayer experience, an unrivaled offering of downloadable content and raises the bar by delivering an entirely new level of depth, connectivity, authenticity and features including:
“As successful as the original Rock Band continues to be, we’ve now had the benefit of the last eight months to listen to our fans’ requests and to build upon that foundation,” said Alex Rigopulos, co-founder and CEO of Harmonix. “Rock Band 2 is a second-generation band game that will elevate the music game experience to the next level.”
Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year.
“We expect Rock Band 2 to continue to drive an amazing social music experience on Xbox 360, said David Hufford, senior director, Xbox Product Management for the Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft. “We look forward to supporting Rock Band 2 on Xbox 360 as gamers continue to download hundreds of new music tracks from Xbox LIVE so they and their friends can perform the rock music they love most.
More details regarding features and music for Rock Band 2 will be revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit. Rock Band, the first installment in the franchise, garnered more than 40 awards including Game Critics Award: Best of Show E3 2007.
In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 15 million paid downloads since the game’s launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.
Rock Band 2 is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, mild suggestive themes) by the ESRB.