MTV Games and Harmonix are opening up the Rock Band music store to everyone later this year. The Rock Band Network allows any artist to upload and price their own tracks for users to download from the game's music store.
According to a report from Billboard, that service will launch sometime this year for the Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band, with plans to bring those "popular tracks" to the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions "eventually." Artists can submit their songs to a group of "Harmonix-trained freelance game developers" who will prep the tracks for use in game.
Artists can price their songs between 50 cents and $US3, netting 30% of track sales. Rock Band owners will be able to preview Rock Band Network songs before they purchase.
MTV Games senior VP Paul DeGooyer says the Rock Band Network features a "set of serious professional tools to allow people on the front line of writing and recording songs to completely control their destiny with respect to interactive products and then giving them direct access to the download store."
There's a good reason the Rock Band Network will be initially available only to Xbox 360 users. Harmonix and MTV Games are relying on Microsoft's Creators Club and the company's XNA development platform to handle the transition from artist uploaded track to something that's playable in Rock Band.