There’s no controversy in saying that the music-rhythm genre has more than stagnated in recent years, and Rock Band developer Harmonix is keenly aware of that fact. In an interview with Giant Bomb, studio head Alex Rigopulos and company detailed the future of the franchise, and how the company plans to keep it fresh in a marketplace reluctant to spend on any more plastic instruments and track packs.
“Looking into next year, we’re actually considering fairly fundamental creative reinterpretation of what the Rock Band business is,” said Rigopulos, “We’re committed to the franchise, but when I think that when we do things with it in the future, it’s going to be a pretty dramatic departure from what we’ve done before.”
“You might assume we’re going to add saxophone or something along those lines,” Eran Ergozy, Harmonix Co-Founder and CTO, interjected, “But no, the kind of direction we’re planning on taking Rock Band, the kind of innovation we have in mind, is taking it in a different direction, one that’s more suitable to the kind of environment we’re in, what people are doing now, what they’re interested in playing now, versus, say, 2007.”
Despite being in the middle of a $131 million lawsuit with their former employers at Viacom, the team at Harmonix waxed appreciative at their past business relationship with the publisher.
“I feel like the conventional storyline was, like, ‘We got bought by Viacom and it was hard, and now we’re indie and that’s cool,’ and there is some truth to that,” mused Greg LoPiccolo, Harmonix Senior Vice President of Product Development, “It’s also true that the whole Rock Band franchise, which was this huge ambition we had, we never could have done without Viacom. There was no way we could have ever accomplished that without MTV and Viacom. It wouldn’t have happened. Rock Band wouldn’t have happened without their involvement.”
What do you think a “dramatic departure” would mean for the Rock Band franchise, EGs? What would you want to see happen, or should Harmonix just skip the “fundamental changes” part and just focus on continuing the franchise’s DLC support? Give us your thoughts in the comments section!