CAMBRIDGE, MA– September 10, 2008– Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game development company, and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), along with distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today announced its highly anticipated music videogame Rock Band 2™is shipping to retail.
The award-winning Rock Band 2 standalone software will make its debut on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on Sunday, September 14, 2008 with an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 standalone wireless drums and guitars will also arrive at retail later in the week. In addition, look for the epic Rock Band 2 TV commercial featuring AC/DC’s rock anthem“Let There Be Rock” that premiered during the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards at www.rockband2.com.
“Rock Band 2 and Harmonix are raising the bar in the music game category again with an incredible music setlist, innovative online features, and new authentic instruments. With over 300 songs available on disc and via weekly downloads, no other music game can compete with the Rock Band 2 music catalog,” stated Bob Picunko, Vice President of Electronic Games and Interactive Products, MTV. "Mark your calendar, call your band mates, and get set for the best Rock Band party ever on Sunday, September 14th."
Rock Band 2 is set to revolutionize music gaming with the ability to export most of the songs from the original Rock Band disc<1>, Online World Tour, daily Battle-Of-The Band Tournaments, Auto-Calibration to eliminate TV lag, wireless drums, quieter, velocity sensitive drum heads, support for up to three cymbals (sold separately), advanced voice detection technology, No Fail Mode, and a real Drum Trainer. Rock Band 2’s massive list of innovations also includes the ability to export your in-game band avatar to the internet and order custom Rock Band merchandise including apparel and figures.
Shipping and pricing information:
Week of September 14, 2008
• Rock Band 2 Standalone Software (Xbox 360) $59.99 MSRP
• Rock Band 2 Standalone Wireless Drums (Xbox 360) $89.99 MSRP
• Rock Band 2 Standalone Wireless Guitar (Xbox 360) $69.99 MSRP
With a focus on authenticity, quality and blurring the line between playing a game and performing music, Rock Band partners Mad Catz and Ion have introduced officially licensed high–end instruments which are already shipping to retail this week:
• Rock Band Fender Precision Bass Guitar Controller: The Fender Precision Bass equipped with a split strum bar and innovative features designed to enhance the Rock Band experience. This new guitar peripheral is designed for bass players but can be used to play both lead and bass guitar portions of Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
• MSRP: $69.99
• Rock Band ION Drum Rocker: A real electronic drum kit with up to three color assignable cymbals that functions as a Rock Band game controller brings the Rock Band fantasy to life. A drum conversion kit is also available to transform the kit from a game controller to a real instrument (sold separately).
• MSRP: $299
Rock Band 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including over 100 songs<2> on the Rock Band 2 soundtrack with an unrivaled blend of classic and new artists including AC/DC, Guns‘N Roses, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Motorhead and more! With the addition of complete and immediate backwards compatibility for songs purchased from Rock Band’s ever-expanding online music store and the ability to export most songs from the original Rock Band disc, the Rock Band music library will feature more than 500 songs<3> by year’s end.
The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 21 million paid downloads since the game’s launch in late November 2007. With more than 300 tracks available to date via disc and download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.
Rock Band 2 is rated“T” for Teen with descriptors of lyrics and suggestive themes by the ESRB.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.
About MTV Games
MTV Games is dedicated to creating, marketing and publishing high-quality, innovative interactive products that are relevant to the MTV audience and complement the core values of the MTV Networks brands.
About Harmonix Music Systems, Inc
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, and established in 1995, is the leading developer of groundbreaking music-oriented videogames. Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, who formed the company to invent new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit: www.harmonixmusic.com .
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS FreestyleTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
© 2008 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Harmonix, Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., an MTV Networks company. Rock Band and Rock Band 2 developed by Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. MTV: Music Television, MTV Games and all related titles and logos are trademarks of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc All other marks are the property of their respective owners. EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Harmonix Media Contact:
(209) 586-1495 x104
<1> Online connection and title update download required. Owners of the original Rock Band will be able to export 55 of the 58 tracks from the original Rock Band disc for play in Rock Band 2. The following Rock Band disc tracks will not be available for export into Rock Band 2: * "Paranoid" as made famous by Black Sabbath, *“Run to the Hills” as made famous by Iron Maiden, and "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. (* Indicates a cover song, all other songs are original master recordings.)
<2> The Rock Band 2 game disc will feature 84 tracks. In addition, players will have access to an additional 20 free DLC tracks following the game’s launch. Online connection required.
<3> Online connection required for export of Rock Band 1 soundtrack, as well as all DLC tracks, packs and albums released to date as well as future DLC releases. Nominal fee of $4.99 (400 Microsoft Points) required for export of Rock Band 1 soundtrack to compensate music licensors for expanded use.