Harmonix has announced that new DLC song releases for Rock Band 4 will be ending later this month after an incredible 16 year run that has seen over 2,700 songs made available for the franchise.
End of an Era
The last batch of new songs will arrive on January 25th and includes tracks from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Disturbed, and The All-American Rejects amongst others. This final pack of tunes will put an end to weekly DLC that has kept the Rock Band series feeling fresh since way back in 2007 when songs first started being made available for purchase beyond the on-disc setlists.
Harmonix communications manager and longtime public face Sean Baptiste broke the news in a blog post, stating:
“It’s wild to think that we’ve been putting out a steady stream of Rock Band DLC for over 16 years now. When we started down this path in 2007 with the release of Rock Band, we had no idea if anyone would be interested in expanding their setlist past the songs we chose to include on the disc. Turns out y’all did – to the tune of over 2,700 additional songs to date! We’re eternally grateful for the passion and support we’ve gotten from our players over the years.”
The end of new DLC comes despite Rock Band 4 itself only releasing in late 2015, showing the continued appetite for plastic instrument party games even as the peripherals themselves have vanished from mainstream retail channels.
So why choose to wrap up DLC for Rock Band 4 at this particular moment? Baptiste explains:
“There are a few reasons why we’ve decided 2024 is the right time to wind down regular DLC releases. As many of you know, the music game genre looks very different than it did when we started out and it’s become increasingly difficult for us to secure licensing partnerships as the years march on.”
Indeed, music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band that rely on special controllers have declined greatly in popularity over the past decade plus. And as Baptiste notes, that has made it harder for Harmonix to continue convincing music rightsholders to license their tracks for new DLC releases.
The other factor bringing DLC to an end? The rise of a little game called Fortnite, as Baptiste confirms:
“There’s also stiff competition from other types of music/rhythm hybrid experiences out there like Fortnite musical events which are commanding more and more mindshare (and budgets) these days.”
By the Numbers
Just how much DLC has Rock Band featured to date? Here’s a breakdown:
|New DLC Songs
|Total DLC Songs
That’s over 2,700 songs across more than 15 years of continued support. And there’s likely still some gas left in the tank, as Baptiste teases:
“While this marks the end of weekly DLC, we aren’t ruling out the possibility of dropping some occasional releases down the road.”
While no more weekly DLC releases does signify the end of an era, Rock Band 4 won’t be riding off into the sunset just yet. Baptiste stated that Harmonix will “continue supporting the servers for online multiplayer and Rockudrama” while evaluating “what makes sense to tackle next” for the Rock Band series.
The team is still clearly passionate about the long-running franchise, so while formal DLC may be finished, don’t rule out some surprises still coming down the road. Baptiste closed the blog post announcing the DLC conclusion by saying:
“Rock Band has always been about connecting people through music, and we’re filled with gratitude for the community that’s rallied around the series for over 16 years now. Thank you all for the continued passion and support. Let’s make some more great memories before 2024 comes to an end!”
So gather your bandmates, warm up those voices, and get ready for one last epic jam session as the curtain closes on over a decade of awesome DLC songs. Rock on!
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