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Es geht Alex: On-disc RB songs are cursed

(Dtoid apparently missed this article when restoring old blog articles; I'm reposting it again for posterity! Thanks for keeping tabs on it, Flixist!) Originally dated November 4.

Minutes ago, John Drake confirmed that RB3 will not play either "Rock 'n' Roll Star" or "Hier Kommt Alex," independent of source (either exported off the RB PAL disc or downloaded off of the XBL marketplace).

While people are running around worrying that this will allow licensing issues to disable any and all DLC at will, I'm certain that's not the case. Rather, the explanation he intimates (that it was licensed specifically for RB PAL--well, he mistakenly says RB2 PAL, but we get the point) suggests something that I'm actually kind of afraid of: that the only way of guaranteeing that your favorite song will not disappear from future iterations of Rock Band is by making sure its original license wasn't for a specific RB title.

I don't know if this applies to Track Pack exclusives or not, but as we've seen, it definitely applies to the main games, what with two other tracks exported from RB1 ("Dani California" and "Black Hole Sun") not showing up in RB3. There's also the slightly more immediately obvious songs excluded from the original exports ("Enter Sandman" and two covers from RB1, additional RHCP and Soundgarden songs from RB2 on top of the AC/DC, Journey, and Metallica tracks, "Monsoon" from RB EU*) proving that no on-disc song is safe, but with RB3 we're beginning to see the exact extent of that.

* Surprisingly, "Monsoon" as DLC still works in RB3, despite not being exportable in PAL, making it the one song NTSC LIVE account holders are and have been able to play and PAL players can't beyond RB1.

The side games are the most questionable territory here. Band-alone games (like GD:RB) are pretty much going to be an all-or-nothing deal (and let's face it: discs like GD:RB have probably been negotiated so that exports of their track list will work in all future installments), but then you have titles like Lego Rock Band, where they didn't confirm 100% export until the last second because they were still in the process of negotiating it at the time. Were they able to secure exports for all future titles at the time, or just for a limited period?

Then there's Rock Band: Unplugged. The initial reports during that period when people started getting pre-release-day copies of RB3 suggested that "Rock Your Socks" was missing from the RB3 set list, which is when I first formulated this theory of mine. (We discovered later on that pretty much all of that week's DLC was bugged for the 360, which made me drop it, before this came back with a vengeance.) There were a good number of tracks initally released for RB:U that later ended up as DLC on the RB Marketplace. Were they originally contracted as DLC and then subsequently negotiated for RB:U (the way the non-exclusives were), or is there a clause in there that will keep me from playing "ABC" sometime in the unspecified future?

I hate it when questions get asked that we quite frankly are never going to get an answer to, due to the high opacity of negotiations in music licensing, but now I'm more convinced as ever that, should there be a particularly awesome song you're looking forward to, keep checking for the Friday DLC announcements.
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About LoopyChewone of us since 3:31 AM on 06.15.2010

I'm just this guy, you know? A thirty-something and probably the quintessential Sino-American geekster, with the only significant difference being I live nine hours ahead of Los Angeles.

My preferred game genres are music/rhythm games and the occasional FPS/action RPG (Bethsoft RPGs, Mass Effect, etc.). Rock Band 3 and variants of Rock Band probably inhabit 90+% of my gaming time, with the rest mostly devoted to things like the latest Bethsoft release or whatever game du jour happens to be out there. Before Rock Band, there was Guitar Hero and DDR. Less so nowadays, although I'm still happy to play HVAM on singles expert since apparently I don't quite have the muster for HVAM doubles anymore.

I currently don't buy Activision games because I don't like the publisher, even if I like the games or developers. I actually enjoyed what I've played of Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero, but I'm adamant about not purchasing their games. Possibly used. Maybe next time I'm in the States, I'll go to a GameStop or something, I dunno.

But enough about me. How are you doing?

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