Harmonix reveals new Rock Band game, abandons instruments

The Rock Band brand is returning – though it has ditched its famous instrument peripherals.

Developer Harmonix has unveiled a new downloadable title called Rock Band Blitz, according to G4. However, much like the studios’ earlier titles such as PS2 pair Frequency (2001) and Amplitude (2003) it will use only a console’s joypad.

It will also be a single player experience, with no multiplayer options.

It’s a radical departure for a series that was founded on its use of a complete set of replica instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, drums and microphone.

Interestingly, it will support Rock Band’s existing library of over 3,700 downloadable tracks.

The Rock Band franchise first arrived in 2007 with plans to steal Guitar Hero’s crown by more realistically replicating the full-band experience. However, following the release of Rock Band 3 in 2010 and the collapse of the music games market, the series was ditched by EA.

That was nothing, though – Harmonix itself was ditched by MTV, whose owners Viacom acquired the studio in 2006 in wake of Activision’s buyout of Guitar Hero publisher Red Octane.

The collapse of the sector, however (which has since been superseded by the rise in dance games) led to Viacom selling Harmonix back to its former owners in 2010.

Rock Band Blitz will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN some time this summer.

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