After more than five years of near-constant weekly releases of downloadable content, the absolutely amazing people at Harmonix Music Systems are putting an end to constant DLC.
The original Rock Band was released in 2007. It was meant to be a step beyond what major competitor Activision was planning with their Guitar Hero series (Which, by the way, was originally made by Harmonix), and it changed the rhythm game landscape by allowing you to play along to your favorite songs with not only a fake plastic guitar, but also a fake plastic drum kit and a microphone (that thankfully wasn’t fake). They also made sure to spend the extra cash and get the rights to master recordings of songs that were to be featured in the game, which, while commonplace today, was more or less unheard of back then. Most of the tracks from the first two Guitar Hero games were actually covers of famous songs.
Rock Band was and is a fantastic game. The sequels have all offered improvements on the game formula, and Harmonix wisely never tried to cash-in on their success by forcing more and more SKUs down retailers’ throats and more and more shovelware into consumers’ hands, unlike what happened with the Guitar Hero series. Yes, Harmonix did have The Beatles: Rock Band and Green Day: Rock Band, but Beatles: RB was made with extensive input from the two surviving Beatles as well as other highly-regarded sources. Green Day: RB was made with direct input from the band. Both of those were made with high quality and were both excellent standalone titles in the Rock Band series.
Rock Band is one of the best party games of this generation. Hell, I’m bringing it to FGCU’s video game club tomorrow.
But what truly made it great was the THOUSANDS of downloadable content offered over the past five years.
Now, per game in the series, there were about 60 or so songs per disc. That’s a lot. Each game offered more songs than the last, from every genre imaginable. Harmonix figured that wasn’t enough. They went above and beyond and released new songs every week, for 275 straight weeks. Good GOD.
Not only did we get stuff like Rush’s “Moving Pictures”, a ton of Queen tracks, and more tracks featuring Dave Grohl than humanly possible, we also were gifted with DLC from Mission of Burma, Mute Math, The Mother Hips, Living Colour, X, and Dream Theater. Hell, they even managed to put out a three pack of Big Dipper songs.
Rock Band’s DLC library is probably the largest in the history of downloadable content by a fair margin. It’s a shame that it’s ending, but five years is a long time. It’s a console generation. But even though there won’t be any more DLC in the future, it’s still great that it happened. And, thankfully, the servers will remain online, so the fake plastic rockin’ won’t stop until your instruments break and your voice runs out.