No Rock Band 4 2011

Looking ahead to the games that are set to dominate the rest of 2011 — Uncharted 3, Gears of War 3, Resistance 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City — one thing becomes abundantly clear: the game industry is absolutely dominated by sequels. So pervasive are sequels, be they annualized sports franchises or the yearly installment of Call of Duty, that it is often more surprising when games don’t receive sequel than when they do.

Of course, if a game were able to establish a stable source of income separate from its retail release, for instance by regularly offering new DLC for purchase, it might make sense to space out retail editions. Such is exactly the case with the King of Music Games, Rock Band 3. Hold on to your discs, friends, because there will not be a Rock Band 4 in 2011.

Released last October, Rock Band 3 is the current culmination of Harmonix’s music game expertise, and we here at Game Rant loved it (check out our review). If you haven’t given the game a chance yet, there has never been a better time. Rock Band 3 now retails for just $20, and the long awaited Fender Stratocaster Pro Guitar is finally available.

With an available library of over 2000 downloadable songs, and new tracks being added every week (next week brings songs from Culture Club, Faith No More, and Phish), Harmonix can afford to avoid the rush to the next holiday Rock Band release.

Speaking to Game Informer, Harmonix Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Chris Rigopulos addressed the issue of a sequel, while still reassuring fans that Rock Band 3 is not the end of the franchise.

“… we’re not planning a Rock Band 4 disc release in 2011. Rock Band 3 is a big game with lots of available music content and lots of new goals and challenges. We want to give our fans the time to explore that fully. But rest assured that Harmonix is still developing new ideas and concepts to advance the Rock Band franchise, and we look forward to sharing those when the time is right.”

Of course, Harmonix is no longer known exclusively as the developer of Rock Band. Dance Central is also the studio’s work, and it was the true breakout hit of the Kinect launch. Despite making use of a DLC platform similar to Rock Band’s, there has been speculation that we might we see a sequel to Dance Central this Christmas.

At the same time, one has to wonder what is left for Harmonix to add to the Rock Band formula. With the inclusion of Pro Mode, keyboards,  and vocal harmonies, Rock Band 3 seems to be about as complete a package as possible. That said, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

What do you think of the news that there won’t be a new Rock Band game this year? Do you expect a new Dance Central?

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Source: Game Informer