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It isn't a matter of HMX not wanting to port every song over - it's obviously a matter of economics.
Let's say HMX did plan to move over every song from the RBN to the other consoles. They could automate the process, but it would have a cost to it- time in porting/download fees/accounting. They could easily build that in - each band/author when submitting would check a box that says something like "Make this song available on the PSN and Wii at a 15% profit, instead of 30% on Live". This is of course a beneficial move for the band - more sales, more publicity, zero additional cost. You could expect that every band would always check that box.
However, for songs that don't sell well, this would lead to HMX losing money. The additional money off the top they charge might not cover their fixed cost of handling the porting for each song.
The XNA has made the HMX centered costs for producing and releasing RBN tracks low enough to make it (hopefully) commercially viable. Currently, the PS3 and Wii don't have a system in place that allows enough of the costs involved to be handled by the artists/authors/volunteer testers - so putting songs on those systems that might only sell a few hundred units doesn't make sense for them.
For those of you claiming that HMX should have just developed a system that would work like XNA for the PS3/Wii, realize that if they had infinite money and no need to make a profit, they probably would have- but it's out of the scope of what they do (Microsoft put a ton of money into the XNA, which gets paid back to them by all those Gold Live members).
I'm a PS3 owner and my excitement about the potential of RBN was only equaled by my frustration that it wasn't happening for me- but the way it's working out makes sense. I'm hoping that we see a great majority of the RBN songs eventually get brought to the other consoles, but it sucks for everyone involved (players, bands,authors,HMX) if they don't.
Order Status - Tranferred from regional warehouse to central carrier shipping hub
this thread has reminded me that if i ever work in customer service i'll probably go to jail for a really long time.
My only question (I am not offended by the RBN and this method of approaching it doesn't really affect me) is why did Harmonix decide to use an indie game developing platform to create the RBN rather than create RBN as a standalone application?
I don't play Rock Band much, for record - so the outcome doesn't really affect me. There's plenty of songs that I like but didn't buy that are out now. I originally owned RB2 on the 360, but most of my friends bought it for the PS3, so I ended up making the switch, giving my drums, guitar, etc, to friends along with my copy and buying the PS3 version to play with my friends. We don't particularly feel slighted.
But as a student studying networking and databases, I don't particularly understand why they would use a highly specified, console specific tool to develop the RBN rather than create it as a stand-alone application. So that's my question - does anyone know why Harmonix decided to make RBN using XNA and not as a standalone application?
It's not because an application is completely incapable of DLC and properly assigning royalty payments to their respective locations, that's simply payment like any other system and is, for the most part, flexible. Payment systems, to my knowledge, aren't a core development around the XNA. Yes, they too have royalty payments, like about every application out there on any of the consoles. It's not a payment allocation issue. That much, I have figured out.
To finish - Question: Why did Harmonix create the RBN using XNA instead of as a standalone application? Has anyone seen any message from Harmonix that would answer this?
I would imagine using XNA to move game files onto the Xbox so that you can actually test songs has something to do with it. I'd imagine that's something that Harmonix simply can't implement on their own.