Harmonix began building its rhythm game empire back in 2005 when it released the first Guitar Hero. With its reliance on pricey peripherals many expected that the game wouldn’t get far. By the end 2007, 1.5 million copies of the first game in what would be eventually a $2 billion franchise had shipped.
After (more than) a few sequels Harmonix was looking to invite a few more friends to the show. Thus Rock Band was born. Harmonix added drums and a singer to the already present bass and guitar, creating one of the best party games of all time. In spite of all of this, the thing that made the game truly special wasn’t the ability to build a four man band, but the support that Harmonix offered after the game’s release.
Starting on the day of the game’s release, and every Tuesday afterwards, a handful of new songs appeared in the Rock Band store. This streak continued unbroken for almost six years when Harmonix announced that they would end regular DLC releases, commemorating the day with the release of “American Pie.” This level of post-release DLC support had never been attempted, and will take a long time for any other game to rival.
With fans clamoring for a new entry in the series on next-generation consoles, Harmonix has made an announcement that will offer a bit of hope. Monday, the company announced the release of new songs for the first time in 21 months. On Tuesday players will be able to purchase the Arctic Monkey “R U Mine?” Foo Fighters “Something From Nothing” and Avenged Sevenfold’s Shepherd of Fire.
While it isn’t quite the announcement of Rock Band 4, this shows that Harmonix hasn’t forgotten about the brand, and may be testing the market to make sure the time is right for the series to make a reappearance.