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The Rock Band Network Beta Program Opens for Music Artists, Publishers and Record Labels to Author and Submit Songs

January 20, 2010

The Rock Band Network Beta Program Opens for Music Artists, Publishers and Record Labels to Author and Submit Songs

Rock Band Enthusiasts Encouraged to Join XNA Creators Club Online at the Now-Open Creators.RockBand.com to Test New Music Tracks and Participate in Peer Review Program

Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games today announced that the Rock Band Network beta program is now open to the public, giving emerging and established artists the tools needed to start authoring and submitting their music into Rock Band. The Rock Band Network, announced in July, is a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians, publishers and record labels the ability to author their original recordings into gameplay files to promote and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the soon-to-launch Rock Band Network Music Store (RBN Store).

“We are excited to democratize the Rock Band platform and expand the music discovery experience to the greater music community with the Rock Band Network,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix. “We believe this will be great for fans, music lovers, bands and the music industry as a whole.”

"The Rock Band Network opens the Rock Band universe to musicians at any stage of their career, empowering them to release the songs they choose, on their timetable, via our proven music distribution platform," said Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music Group. "It is a high-value business proposition that features powerful promotional impact for artists and songwriters, while at the same time adding real sales to their bottom lines."

Artists who submit songs for the Rock Band Network Music Store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and receive a royalty of 30 percent of the retail selling price (excluding tax) for every track purchased through the RBN Store. Before they are approved to be sold, songs are submitted to http://Creators.RockBand.com. The author submits the song to one of two areas: Playtest, where the community delivers feedback on a work in progress track, or Peer Review, where a revised song goes when it is considered a final draft and ready to be posted for sale. Once in Peer Review, songs are tested for playability and checked to check for violations of XNA Creators Club Online community standards (vulgarity, adult content, legal concerns, etc.). Peer Reviewers have the unique opportunity to play Rock Band Network content for free, well in advance of a track’s commercial release. These fans can help shape the track’s final form, rating how fun and challenging the authoring is, and helping flag issues to make the song the best it can be. Anyone who owns Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 can join the Playtest and Peer Review processes by purchasing an XNA Creators Club Online Premium membership through http://creators.xna.com/membership.

Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where the millions of Rock Band fans will be able to both hear and play samples of songs before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days. A selection of standout tracks will then be made available on the PlayStation 3 and the Wii.

How to get started:

The Rock Band Network Store will open to consumers in the near future to be announced at a later date. With more than 1,000 tracks available to date in the standard Rock Band platform, the Rock Band Network Music Store will exponentially increase the number of available songs, further securing MTV Games and Harmonix’s position as the leading provider of downloadable content for music-based video games.

To check out the Rock Band Network in action, featuring Jonathan Coulton, please visit here: http://www.rockband.com/zine/rbn-panels-3-comm/.

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