I wrote up a pretty nice three-page package on Rock Band and Guitar Hero III for the Rocky Mountain News before I left for Australia. Most of it is geared to a pretty general audience, meaning it's a lot of explanation, impressions and factoids, but one of the stories in the package is pretty packed with interesting details for even hard-core gamers.
I spoke with Paul DeGooyer, MTV's senior vice president of home entertainment, music and games, not once but twice to write With 'Band' in hand, MTV eyes evolution. (My harddrive crashed and I lost all my notes :( ).
In the story DeGooyer touches on some interesting things, including MTV's take on whether Rock Band will be coming to the channel as its own television show, how the Grateful Dead helped tweaked the game and Metallica's deal for the game.
Hit the jump for the details.On Metallica:
MTV and Harmonix have plans to release new music weekly for the game, eventually pushing the game's library into the thousands. And DeGooyer says that musicians, both established and up-and-coming, are lining up to get their music into the game. Some artists may even forgo the traditional route of MTV or radio and premiere new songs directly on Rock Band.
"There are a couple of things we've committed to, one of them with Metallica for example," he said. "They've reserved the right to give us their first single from their new album for the game."
In other cases, musicians might release music to the game to tie in with a new record or tour, he said.
On Grateful Dead:
Musicians have been fans of Harmonix's games almost since their original Guitar Hero hit stores. With MTV backing them, musicians are getting more hands-on time with the game earlier in the process.
The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, drummer and quite an audiophile, even had his hand in some of the design work. "We presented the game to the Grateful Dead, and Mickey Hart, the drummer, had some suggestions about the audio and about what could be implemented and we used some of that," DeGooyer said.
DeGooyer said he helped show off the game to musicians at Abbey Road Studios, setting up Rock Band in famed Studio Three where Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was tracked.
"Everyone who was working in the studio, from engineers to musicians, stopped by to try it out," he said.
On Rock Band TV:
While Rock Band has MTV's full support, the television network is being very careful not to overdo it. Specifically, they are holding off on any Rock Band-themed television shows, for now.
"The risk is that a show would be put together that's not very good, " DeGooyer said. "We need the right concept, one that looks at how gamers engage with the game. There really isn't this impetus to put the wrong show up. The game speaks for itself."
That last bit, which didn't make the final cut of my Rocky story, may be DeGooyer saying they're not doing a Rock Band television show, but the implication was most certainly that they weren't doing one yet.
With 'Band' in hand, MTV eyes evolution [Rocky Mountain News]