As most people who know me will tell you, I’m a pretty big fan of the Rock Band games, from Harmonix and MTV Games. So, of course, when I was E3 in June I made damn sure to swing by and learn about what is planned for Rock Band 3, which launches later this year.
I won’t go into of the details, but suffice to say that the game looks incredible. It feels to me like Harmonix is making all of the right decisions and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. One of the things that I’m particularly pleased with is that they are continuing to support Rock Band as a “platform,” which means that, in addition to the 70+ new songs that will be included on the disc for Rock Band 3, you will still be able to play all of the previously-released songs (with the exception of the Beatles music) in Rock Band 3. This means that if you have already purchased them, you will be able to play all of the songs included on Rock Band 1 and 2, as well as Green Day: Rock Band, and all of the downloadable tracks, as well.
Together, there will be more than 1000 playable songs available for Rock Band 3 when it launches. Harmonix and MTV Games illustrated this point by listing all of these songs on a huge wall at E3 (see picture below).
Nonetheless, this functionality seems to be something that relatively few Rock Band owners are aware of. In fact, I’ve had numerous conversations with other Rock Band owners who under the mistaken impression that there are either a) not many songs available for download, or b) that they are mostly by bands that you’ve never even heard of. Which brings me to the point of this blog post. This is an impression that I think MTV/Harmonix really need to address and I had an idea for how they could do so…
(As a disclaimer, I should say that I’m not in PR/marketing and have no idea of the actual viability of this idea. There may be a number of reasons why this simply wouldn’t be possible, or would be prohibitively expensive. But, my gut says that it should be doable.) What I suggest is this: the week prior to the launch of the game, MTV/Harmonix should identify the most popular rock-and-roll radio stations in the largest radio markets in America and sponsor a “Rock Band Week,” during which all songs aired by the station would be pulled from the available Rock Band set list.
I can only imagine the number of people who would have moments listening to the radio when they would say to themselves, “no way! You can play this in Rock Band?!” It would also do wonders for overall awareness of the game’s upcoming launch. Financially, it might not be as expensive as one would expect, as the radio stations would still be able to generate their normal advertising revenue and could even still take requests (so long as they came from the set list).
Of course, like I said, there may be some reasons why this isn’t practical. If so, please mention them in your comments. Otherwise, if someone thinks that this is a great idea and knows someone at MTV Games, feel free to pass this link along. I will even waive my normal consulting fee.