For a few years, peripheral-based music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band were inescapable. Unfortunately for fans of the genre, these franchises were worn out quickly with a rash of releases over a very short span of time, flooding the market and burning out relatively quickly. However, recent developments would seem to suggest that developer Harmonix might be about to get the band back together.
Over the course of the last couple of months, we've seen Harmonix poll fans of the series on what sort of follow-up they would like to see and only just recently released suggestive DLC for Rock Band 3 after a two-year hiatus. All signs pointed towards the millions of plastic guitars laying dormant in closets around the world making their long-awaited return to the living room.
Now, it seems that an even bigger clue has been dropped as to when we'll see some sort of reveal. Yesterday, Penny Arcade revealed the roster of commemorative pin badges that attendees as the upcoming PAX East convention, with designs based on games from studios like Supergiant, The Behemoth, Blizzard and Harmonix.
While all the other pin designs have been published for all to see, the Harmonix contribution is replaced by a simple grey question mark – potentially suggesting that details will emerge at PAX East. Something fishy would certainly seem to be going on, especially since the studio has retweeted the information without offering any further insight. There's something being teased, but it's not clear what at this point in time.
Rock Band has long been a staple of PAX events, as legions of YouTube videos featuring tournaments and impromptu gameplay sessions can demonstrate. The announcement of a new game in the series would almost certainly be received warmly in that setting, whereas a reveal at an event like E3 might be drowned out by the masses of industry news sure to break as such a show.
Harmonix do have another project set for 2015, the crowdfunded remake of their cult classic Amplitude — but to be so cloak-and-dagger with the tie-in badge would seem to suggest that they have something more mysterious up their sleeve. Fans of the series have been theorizing about what a sequel could include since the release of Rock Band 3; perhaps it won't be long before solid plans for a follow-up emerge.
The PAX East convention runs from March 6 to March 8, so we'll have to wait until then to see whether or not Rock Band is about to make a return to the stage.
Source: Penny Arcade