How Rock Band Was Saved From Catastrophic Failure

How Rock Band Was Saved From Catastrophic Failure

Rock Band celebrated its fourth birthday last week and, to celebrate, Harmonix has released some videos that go into detail on the process of creating the game, and the struggles involved in actually shipping to retail. As a huge Rock Band fan with over 400 downloadable songs on my PS3 hard drive, I find this whole thing fascinating. Last week was the story of how Rock Band came to be, but this story is about how hardware issues almost doomed the franchise to catastrophic failure.

The above video is just the start — if you’re interested in looking a little more deeply into how the game’s instruments were developed, you should head to Harmonix’s website.

In a weird way, I almost lament the passing of the whole music/guitar/band genre. Some of the best times I’ve had this generation were with a group of friends on Rock Band. In fact, in the game’s honour, I may just bust out some multiplayer on the Jimi Hendrix DLC tonight.

And, for the record, I still have the original instruments that shipped with Rock Band 1. And they all still work (except for one of the whammy bars on my guitar, which is totally busted).


  • One of the best franchises of this generation. It’s a shame it didn’t get enough love in Australia. Rock Band Beatles and Rock Band 3 are too of my favourite games of all time.

  • Never really got around to checking out Rock Band. Anyone know of anywhere still selling the full game pack with instruments? Preferably the latest version?

    • It was just this side of impossible to find the instrument packs when the game released, let alone track them down now that the music game genre has pretty much died.

      Amazon might have them but some of the stuff is too big for them to ship, you might try ebay. Guitar Hero instruments work fine but you really want a Rock Band drum kit if the drums float your boat, because the songs are designed for the 4-pad layout that Rock Band has rather than the 3-pad & 2 cymbal setup that Guitar Hero uses.

      For the games, you need PAL versions so either track them down locally (hard because EA absolutely botched distribution here) or import (try ozgameshop?)

    • Being new to it all you can’t go past the Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock Super Bundles. JB were selling them for $89 last week. Inlcudes Drums, guitar, mic and game. RB is far superior so I would grab a copy of RB3 with that kit and you will be set.

    • Another option is to head to logitechshop and score yourself some premuim instrument controllers on the cheap. Although in my experience the GH drums ane not so good for RockBand (unless you don’t care using your cymbals as toms)

  • ^^ That might be because they didn’t release RB1 until RB2 was being released in the US.

    Did they even release RB2 here?

  • Rock band 2 is the game I’ve played most this generation. Best setlist, best art, best ambiance, best dlc.

    Rock band 3 was better gameplay and accessibility-wise, but somehow I managed to like it less than RB2. Almost as if it was too good. RB2 treated me mean, and kept me keen.

  • I didnt pick you for a plastic guitar man, Serrels. Perhaps if they released a bagpipe peripheral. I could see you rocking out to classic highland hits like ‘There Can Only Be One’ and ‘Headbutt Me Because I Love You’, Irn Bru in one hand, simulated loch mist rolling in from offstage.

  • Personally, I don’t really “get” Rock Band. I guess I can see how it would be appealing to play along to all those songs you love and stuff… but I prefer the Guitar Hero side of things. Particularly pre-World Tour, when it was just the guitars. I just want to play through challenging charts which seems to be most fun when playing to various kinds of metal and harder rock, all the songs on the more poppy end of the spectrum just tend to be boring.

    Also I miss co-op terribly. Bass smells.

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