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Jon Hartley's blog

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Jon Hartley avatar 9:23 PM on 11.06.2007  (server time)
Rock Band Questions Linger...

Everyone's raving about Rock Band, and rightfully so. I'm sure I'll pick it up at some point, like most will. However, with the release mere days (DAYS!) away, a lot of questions remain.

Paramount of them (to me, anyway): Just what will be the price for downloadable songs?

We all have heard, joined in with, or even led the outrage over the price of downloads for Guitar Hero II, which ran $6.25 for three songs, or over $2 per. I personally would not balk so much if the songs weren't arranged in three song "packs", forcing you to buy one or two songs you may not be even vaguely interested in to play one or two songs that you are. If you REALLY had to have "Ace of Spades" accessible in Guitar Hero II, but didn't give a rat's ass for the other two tracks, you essentially paid $6.25 for one song.

Rock Band needs to take advantage of this. Besides the addition of drums and the awesome multiplayer capabilities, the promise of extensive downloads is the biggest thing going for Rock Band. If the downloads are upwards of $2 per song, this advantage is nullified. I'm optimistic, mostly because of the complete album downloads. If they're having you pay $2-3 per song, some albums could cost $30+ easily. Hopefully, Rock Band will have affordable downloads, forcing Activision to follow suit with Guitar Hero's songs, then we're all winners, eh?

The other question that seemingly no one is asking is, "Why do we need new Guitar Hero or Rock Band games at all after this year?" If we can download the songs we want, or in Rock Band's case, entire albums, and if both games already include most of the features we wanted (ie online play), what's the point of releasing more games? Other than the game-to-game improvements (which at this point seem as if they have mostly been used up), we're buying the new games for more songs. If we can get the new songs anyway without buying a new game disc, what pretense will EA and Activision have to keep releasing Guitar Hero and Rock Band sequels?

OK, I guess the seemingly obvious answer is: they'll just keep making them anyway. I'm sure we'll see Guitar Hero IV and Rock Band 2 before 2008 is up, and they'll simply add some killer songs that (what do you know...) won't be available for download, and go laughing on to the bank. But I wonder when fans of both series will begin to backlash, seeing that it's obviously possible to simply offer new songs as downloads and let players choose the songs they want instead of buying more $60 sequels.

Thoughts, anyone?

Oh yeah...also, this is my first blog. My name is Jon and I like stuff. Nice to meet ya.

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