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Rock Band Year in Review 2013

For a year without a new Rock Band release, we were AWFULLY busy in 2013. We may have sunsetted the weekly DLC, but there hasn’t been a day this year where we didn’t talk to the community on the forums, or run a giveaway on Twitter or Facebook, or assist in pushing RBN content through the pipeline, or publish a fan article, or remind the rest of the team here that people still love Rock Band.

EARLY 2013 ROCK BAND DLC RELEASES

In the spring Rock Band released DLC for a number of artist new to the library, including Aerosmith, Chevelle, Toto, Peter Cetera, Extreme, Oingo Boingo, Nazareth, Queensryche, The Flys, and Soft Cell. We also released additional content from returning RB artists Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Foster the People, and Staind, as well as singles releases of the tracks on the Rock Band Blitz set list.

END OF AN ERA

After 281 consecutive weeks of content, we closed out an absolutely astounding run of DLC with Don McLean’s “American Pie”. The weekly DLC schedule defined the RB experience for a log of people in the community and it stands as an entirely unchallenged streak in the world of video games. The final song choice may have been a bit too morose for some, but it was also a fitting end to a tremendous 6 year run of some of the most talented artists to ever create music.

ROCK BAND NIGHT AT THE BRATTLE

We knew that we needed to end the weekly DLC with a bang, and the timing worked out perfectly to host a community event at PAX East right here in our own backyard. We teamed up with our friends at the Brattle Theater, as well as the lovable miscreants at Giant Bomb, to throw a Rock Band night the likes of which our fair commonwealth had never before seen! Fans took the stage in front of the big screen, rocked out for a packed house, took incriminating pictures in our photo booth, showered each other with candy, and we sent everyone home with exclusive Rock Band Ultimate Tour shirts and Rock Band Road Crew track jackets. We ended the night with a group sing along, inviting old friends, new friends, and friends we didn’t even know up on stage with us to play “American Pie” for the very first time, just days before it was officially released. It was a hugely cathartic show, and some of the most fun we’ve ever had in 6 years of RB nights.

ROCK BAND NETWORK, HOLDING IT DOWN

When the Harmonix released DLC stopped, the Rock Band Network community continued to crank away on tracks. Despite technical problems with the pipeline, RBN was responsible for adding new content to the library months after “American Pie” was release. Also in 2013, Rock Band Network releases overtook the total number of official Harmonix releases, accounting for more than half of the 4,200+ tracks in the library, showing the extreme dedication of the authoring community.

GIVEAWAYS!

Despite the lack of new content in the later half of the year, we continued to support the community in a number of ways. We donated hardware and software to a number of charities and community focused gaming events, most notably the excellent people that used Rock Band to raise funds for Extra Life. We also ran countless DLC giveaways at events like PAX and PAX East, as well as online, and all told we ended up giving away over 100,000 free DLC codes in 2013! We’ll continue to support the community in 2014, as we’re keeping the servers on and the DLC store live. There will still be giveaways, there will still be developer stories on the podcast, and Rock Band will still come up in meetings. 2013 wasn’t the end of Rock Band, just break in between tours. Rock on!
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