Hey EA, No One In Australia Cares About Rock Band 2

Hey EA, No One In Australia Cares About Rock Band 2
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Rock Band 2. Recently hinted at, and now confirmed, I’m sure most of the world is as excited about the sequel as it was when Guitar Hero 2 was announced by Activision.

Well, everyone in the world except Australia. Yes, 7 months on from its US release, we’re still waiting for Harmonix’s rhythm game to debut here. 7 months on, EA has failed to provide any reason for the delay, or even a vague street date, leaving us to feed desperately on retailer estimates. 7 months on, and resentment continues to build for both publisher EA and developer Harmonix.

EA’s silence has forced gamers, once excited about the possibility of playing the game, to either boycott its release or import it from overseas. Desirable options? Not really, but what choice has EA left us?Then there was the strong rumour from Saturday that AC/DC could see inclusion in the sequel. I don’t know about you, but this just felt like a slap in the face.

And let’s not get started on the Spore Creature Creator. Or Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 on Wii. This is hardly the first time EA’s treated Australia like crap.

EA, I don’t want to harbour ill feelings towards you. I’d like to think there’s a very good reason why Rock Band‘s release in Australia has been delayed. Or why MoH: Heroes 2 had no multiplayer. Or why we can only buy the Spore Creature Creator from the New Zealand EA Store.

But you can’t expect us to get pumped about Rock Band 2. If we haven’t seen the first game, what are the chances we’ll get to play the second? That’s a fair question, and I’d love an answer. Until we see Rock Band, or a solid date on which to expect it, tales of the game’s success overseas will serve only to insult us, and our confusion and ignorance will beat the life out of our anticipation and fondness for Rock Band and its sequels.

Come on EA, tell us what the hell is going on.


  • Even though people are criticising Neversoft for following Rock Band’s innovation, I am personally happy they are because we are actually guaranteed to see Guitar Hero: World Tour here in Australia. Sure, I would love to see Rock Band available here but being disappointed over and over again (it’s like trying to catch the dragon in Heroin Hero), I’ll just be glad to see Guitar Hero doing Rock Band’s thing.

  • The headline of this article is 100% right; how are gamers in Australia suppose to give a damn about Rock Band 2 when we don’t even have the original Rock Band yet?

    Perhaps the best idea for EA would be to release the Rock Band 2 bundle in Australia and have the original game available separately for half the price of a standard new title. That’s just my 5 cents on how I think they should go about it, but what do I know? I’m just another Rock Band-less Australian.

  • Logan, I’m glad you’re holding EA’s feet to the fire on these issues here on Kotaku AU. For too long this kind of treatment has gone unseen and complaints have gone unheard.

    Hopefully if these issues keep getting brought up with EA they will finally turn their act around. They don’t seem to quite grasp the concept of a GLOBAL market.

    Here’s a hot tip EA: we’re all on the same internet. When people over in the US get excited about a game, we get excited about a game. When we can’t get a game just because we are in a different country, we don’t just say “oh well, maybe next time.” We get really annoyed. And then we go buy Guitar Hero instead. And if this has happened to us a bunch of times? We stop buying EA games.

  • Screw Rock Band, if the GH camp get their act together, I’m going straight to GH:WT. EA had the chance to beat them here just like everywhere else, but at this rate they’ll miss the boat.

  • Ok EA/Harmonix I have a deal for you.
    STEP 1: Don’t bother releasing ‘Rock Band’ in Australia okay? Cool!
    STEP 2: Release Rock band 2 at the same time as it is released in the USA!!!
    STEP 3: Profit!

    Alternatively, don’t region code the NTSC disc, Blu Rays aren’t region coded, most 360 games aren’t region coded. So why is Rock Band region coded? You want to stop us importing, okay fair enough. Oh wait, no it isn’t because you won’t even let us play your game!

    I honestly can’t see why they can’t release the game here on time. PEOPLE WILL PAY YOU TO PLAY YOUR GAME AND ENJOY IT!

  • EA’s treatment of countries outside of the US has been abysmal. Let’s not forget that the UK only just got Rock Band and most of Europe is no closer to getting it than we are.

    I really think it’s unlikely that Rock Band 2 will land in Europe or Australia within 6 months of Rock Band 1, so prepare to wait people! I’ve got that sneaking suspicion that we’re about to get screwed again.

    You know what really irks though? That Aussie guy from Harmonix complaining that the IGN reporter didn’t name any Aussie bands. Well, mate, why should he know about Australia when Harmonix clearly has no f%^$*&g idea that we exist.

  • As an Australian Wii owner, we pretty much get double screwed by Rock Band and EA. Even if it did get released here, the Wii version is a crappy port of the gimped PS2 version. No thanks, I think I’ll wait for GH:WT, which I bet will be released here before even Rock Band anyway. Hey EA, there’s a reason GHIII dominated RB in sales.

  • Tehy could give us RB2 with RB1 on it 😛 that would do me. We get the improved gameplay etc with all the songs. Put moeny on us not even getting RB2 though. EA need to get their butt into gear and give us at least an apology / reason.

  • Why does Australia have to wait so long to get games from the US? Why can’t Rock Band do what GTA4 and MGS4 have done and release it at the same time all around the world. Everyone gets excited for a game and when we have to wait 6 months for it we dont make happy customers.

  • You want a slap in the face – try the IGN interview with Harmonix lead designer, Dan Teasdale. Tongue in cheek, he says to the interviewer:

    “While I can’t rate your list explicitly on “What’s on Rock Band 2,” I can rate you based on the number of times you mention music from my home country of Australia – which is none. Do you not like Australians? I’m a little offended that you haven’t added iconic rock acts like Billy Thorpe, Radio Birdman, INXS, Midnight Oil or Crowded House to your list of songs. I haven’t even started on modern bands like Regurgitator, Silverchair, Architecture in Helsinki, The Grates or Wolfmother!

    I suggest that you purchase a couple of the “Triple J Hottest 100″ CD’s and get back to me.”

    You tell us Dan – don’t you like Australians? I suggest you release your damn game in Australia and then get back to us. Until then, spare us the “flying the flag” rhetoric please…

  • I finally got my Rock Band today. And it’s AWESOME. Good timing huh? The day Rock Band 2 was announced.

    I want to say, however, that I’m an exception. Generally speaking EA, noone gives a crap about importing your game and paying $320 for it when you can get Guitar Hero 4 at the shops.

    I don’t understand why they want to over saturate North America so much when there are untapped markets just begging for it. I mean, they’ve released the game in 5 countries. Five. Out of… 192. That’s what, 2%? 3. Yeah. And as for population, that’s 7% of Earth.

    WHOO, good job guys. I like that logic. Instead of releasing one game to most of Earth, release 2 games to 7% of Earth, but sometimes only on one console, reducing your potential buyer pool even further.

    Hell, even just give it to the English speaking countries. …Or did you now know, EA, that Australia speaks english?

    I mean, you could release one game that is already developed, or just, you know… spend another hundred million dollars making a new one.

    You know what most people will do when they see Rock Band 2 in the stores? They’ll say
    ‘That must be crap if they have to promote it so much when I haven’t heard of Rock Band 1.’

    Name recognition helps. Want to know a secret EA? The Sims 2 didn’t sell well just because it has lots of tiny expansions. You should know that.

    Nice work guys.

  • I imported this game,
    It’s awesome, it’s worth $500. I only buy about one game a year, and 2008 I decided to import after playing a friends (very carefully). It blew my mind, not since the wii have I flailed my body around so willingly in front of my friends, screaming “Wanted dad or alive” down my toy mic making a complete ass of myself. Havn’t had so much gaming fun with my friends since Halo 1 LAN matches, and for a few hours a week I’m something I’ll never be…

    A rock star

  • You’d think this game would do well over here and in europe considering, well the successes of the singstar games, in those regions. Surely adding some GH/drum action to singstar (making RB) would be even better?

    Personally I’m kinda happy the more people who begin to import their games to australia, the more they’ll begin to notice we’re sick of paying the ridiculous game prices.


    Wait rock band is region encoded? or is that just X360?

  • Something to consider is licensing issues with the songs in Rock Band. Australia has different laws in regards to music reproduction etc than the US and Europe.

    And then they have to manufacture the instruments and ship them here. A staged release makes some sense when you consider that they might not be able to manufacture enough instruments to meet demand. However, seven months between the US and EU release is getting a bit out of hand.

    And AU has always been screwed because we’re not a big enough market for publishers/developers/hardware manufacturers (I’m looking at you Sony) to really invest that much money into. With a population one fifteenth the size of the US, that means one fifteenth of the profit. And of course, that also means inflated prices. Paying twice as much for a game as Americans do makes no sense to me.

  • Licensing issues don’t make sense – the PS3 version of Rock Band isn’t region locked…

    I honestly don’t understand what EA is doing – all I can think is that the US is sucking up most of their supplies of one or more instruments guitars and that’s what’s make it take so long to reach other countries.

    Not that that makes it any better…

    It also remains to be seen weather Activision and Red Octane can do a simultaneous worldwide release (though they have a MUCH better chance than EA does) Nor do we know how reliable the equipment is (again, they have a MUCH better chance than EA does)

    EA *has* to get Rock Band out worldwide before GH:WT comes out, or they *are* going to lose those markets – I know a *lot* of people in australia who – while they enjoy playing rock band, aren’t interested in importing and dealing with those warranty issues.

    Me? I hate Neversoft’s “new improved” art style for GH3 and GH4 so I won’t buy them – but a lack of Australian copies is quite irritating.

  • I feel for you guys. I’m from the U.S. and I have had Rock Band for quite some time. Honestly… I’m sick of EA. I don’t know about you but everytime EA is involved the PS3 version gets either delayed or comes out looking like crap. My personal feeling is that EA isn’t releasing Rock Band in Australia because the 360 isn’t doing so hot out there. EA favors the 360 and shits on the PS3. Just my opinion.

  • @Azmodean: PS3 is unregioned – apparently Sony finally realised that regioning gave a legitimate excuse for modchips to exist. The other systems are all locked.

    @Nathan: while it’s true that Australia does have different laws, Harmonix had no trouble getting the original Guitar Hero out here within two months of it hitting Europe, and Guitar Hero II and III came out in Australia a few weeks *before* Europe. And that is *all* of Europe, mind you, not just a country or two. You’d think that if anything the added clout that EA and MTV would be able to bring to bear added to the fact that the game is much higher profile now would make it easier, not harder, for them to get the licenses.

    Personally I’ve seriously considering importing Rock Band from the US or the UK, but the sticking point for me is the inability to buy DLC without resorting to inconvenient or potentially illegal means.

    My suspicion is that the reason we haven’t heard anything about Rock Band in Australia is that it was never going to happen here. Instead we’ll go straight to the sequel. We know that RB2 is releasing in ‘Europe’ at the same time – the only question is whether they mean Europe as in a handful of countries or Europe as in the region.

  • yeh screw them. Unless Rock Band 2 comes with a comlimentary pyrotecnics machine and is releasing earlier than GH4, Guitar hero 4 is getting my money.

  • EA is probably just taking out there anger on us because, Krystal Forscutt didnt go out with them, after they put her in Pro Streat.

  • Like pissing into an ocean of piss, I’ll throw my complaint in here along with all the others, knowing full well that EA won’t listen and won’t care.

    From what I’ve heard (from the interwebs, how reliabe), the date for Rock Band continues to get pushed back because as the demand for hardware in Europe and the US increases, EA is shipping the units that would have originally been for Aus to these countries. Rather then spend money on advertising and promotion for another launch in Aus, they decide to just continue fueling the existing markets that already exist in other countries.

    Actually, I know how to get results on this fast! Let’s make an online petition about it, they always seem to work, just look at Diablo 3.

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