Harmonix have announced that today is the big day, launching the Rock Band Network Music Store to the public today through Xbox LIVE. The RBN is launching with over 100 songs readily available from the get go, with a library that'll be increasing tenfold over the coming weeks.
For those unfamiliar with what the Rock Band Network is, then... well, here's a pretty comprehensive explanation of the entire RBN and what to expect from it now that it is available for usage:
Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks, today announced that the Rock Band Network Music Store opens to the public today, giving Rock Band fans and music lovers a new avenue to discover music and providing musicians and labels the opportunity to produce and promote tracks for the Rock Band platform. The Rock Band Network, announced in July, is a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians, publishers and record labels the ability to author their original recordings into gameplay files to promote and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the Rock Band Network Music Store (RBN Store).
“The Rock Band Network Music Store gives artists at any level the opportunity to reach new fans through our deeply engaging interactive platform,” said Paul DeGooyer, senior vice president of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music Group. “This new pathway for discovery is a huge win for passionate music fans, as well as an opportunity for artists to promote themselves while positively impacting their bottom line.”
Artists who submit songs for the Rock Band Network Music Store are able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and receive a royalty of 30 percent of the retail selling price (excluding tax) for every track purchased through the RBN Store. There are currently more than 100 songs available for purchase in the Rock Band Network Music Store from artists including The Shins, The Hold Steady, The Main Drag, Bang Camaro, of Montreal, Jonathan Coulton, Skeleton Witch, 3 Inches of Blood, Lacuna Coil, Stroke 9, and Steve Vai. There are more than 300 artists in the RBN pipeline, with additional tracks already on the way from Flight of the Conchords, The Smashing Pumpkins, Twin Atlantic, All That Remains, Clutch, Prong, The Gaslight Anthem and many more coming soon.
With more than 1,100 tracks available to date in the original Rock Band platform, the Rock Band Network Music Store will immediately boost the number of available songs, further securing MTV Games and Harmonix’s position as the leading provider of downloadable content for music-based video games.
“The response to and interest in the Rock Band Network has been even greater than we originally expected,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems. “We’re very excited about the number of bands and labels who have geared up to participate in the Rock Band Network, as well as the number of enthusiasts who have signed up to participate in the Peer Review and Playtest processes.”
Since launching the Rock Band Network open beta in January, more than 4,300 new users have registered as authors and peer reviewers on http://Creators.RockBand.com
, the site where songs are submitted before they are approved to be sold. Authors create Rock Band song packages and submit them to the site to go through two processes: Playtest, where the community delivers feedback on a work in progress track, and Peer Review, where revised and final drafts are vetted and approved for sale. During Peer Review, songs are tested for playability, adherence to the authoring standards of Rock Band and checked to check for violations of XNA Creators Club Online community standards (vulgarity, adult content, original content, etc.).
Peer reviewers have the unique opportunity to play Rock Band Network content for free, well in advance of a track’s commercial release. These fans can help shape the track’s final versions, providing crucial feedback and flagging issues throughout Playtest and Peer Review that ensures songs are up to the high standards set by Harmonix. Any music fan with Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 and an internet connected PC can join the Playtest and Peer Review processes by purchasing an XNA Creators Club Online Premium membership through http://creators.xna.com/membership
Once tracks are approved, they are transferred to the Rock Band Network Music Store, an in-game music marketplace where the millions of Rock Band fans will be able to explore this constantly growing set of new content. In an exciting turn of events, for the first time in the Rock Band franchise, users will be able to download sample gameplay of each track to try before they buy! Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days.
In addition, it was also announced that T-Mobile has signed on as a launch partner for the RBN, running an “Artist-of-the-Month” feature to help fans identify and connect with new talent in the Rock Band Network, beginning in April.
To access the Rock Band Network, just loadI up Rock Band 2
, download the Title Update, and then look for the new RBN tab under the Music Store. For the full list of day-one songs available check the external link below - though bear in mind this list will be changing and growing at a fairly overwhelming rate!
There's too many awesome things to be happy about here (well, if you're a Rock Band
/music fan). One amazing little part I feel the need to reiterate is this: "users will be able to download sample gameplay of each track to try before they buy!" Isn't that amazing? A try-before-you-buy system for this music DLC is a fantastic, much-desired addition, in my humble opinion.The only bad news? The RBN launch is currently only for USA and Canada Us Europeans won't have to wait too long though, it should launch here within the next few weeks.
Yey! RBN should now be accessible in the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Singapore and Sweden!