E3 2007: EA's casual team Rocks out

Electronic Arts’ casual games department used the company’s E3 presentation to unveil upcoming product – but no game could match the audience reaction to Harmonix-developed rhythm title Rock Band.

The company said that it had a goal to capture the spending power of 200 million casual gamers before demonstrating EA Mobile titles including Madden, NBA Live and Harry Potter.

Wii Boogie was then played in front of the crowd, with EA Montreal general manager Alan Tascan dancing and singing his way across the stage to demonstrate the title.

The company also revealed details of two new Wii games: EA Playground and Smarty Pants. The former featured a variety of mini-games, including dodgeball, whilst the latter – which is released this Christmas – was a quiz game where you raise the Wiimote to ‘buzz’ in.

The last 15 minutes of the presentation were dedicated to Rock Band – which ended in mass applause, according to Blake Stone at Next-Gen.biz.

Developer Harmonix revealed its plans to release a new song for the title each week for the first year via download, and hopes to have over 100 songs available by the end of that period. Complete album downloads will then follow – with the first being The Who’s classic Who’s Next.

Head of Rock Band’s music advisory board Little Steven said: “I don’t endorse much. In fact, I don’t endorse anything. But I’m behind this game, as it’s really fun and it will change things. It’s going to help up and coming musicians, although you don’t have to be a musician to enjoy it. It will bring people together and will be a major part of the future of rock and roll.”

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