Harmonix: Why Pro RB3 DLC costs more

"We don't want to raise stock DLC price."

Extra costs have been introduced for Rock Band 3 downloadable tracks. If you want old songs to support the new keyboard instrument or the vocal harmonies you must buy an "RB3 Version" of it. Similarly, if you want the Pro Guitar and Pro Bass parts in the song you will need to pay more.

Why?

"Rock Band 3 downloadable content is all about options," Harmonix project director Daniel Sussman explained to Eurogamer.

"Gamers can play almost all of their Rock Band back-catalogue in Rock Band 3 in traditional gameplay mode, meaning five-button guitar and bass, single vocals and drums (Pro drums are also included in all back-catalogue songs). However, for those who want it, we are offering updates of some songs (as you see this week with several Bon Jovi tracks) to include Keys, Pro Keys and Harmonies in the Rock Band 3 file format, which also includes a lesson component for each piece DLC song. For those updated songs, a new purchase is required because it's a new piece of content with new instrument tracks, new mixes and new authoring.

"The time it takes to author and mix the additional components is the same as what's required to build a new song.

"Our rationale for charging extra for Pro Guitar and Pro Bass authoring is that we don't want to have to raise the stock DLC price to account for the extra work needed for Pro Guitar and Bass," Sussman added. "Instead, you only pay for this additional piece of content that we've worked on if you want it.

"We hope our customers appreciate the added functionality included in our different upgrades and that the access to new gameplay justifies the extra costs."

An "RB3 Version" of a Rock Band song still costs only 99 pence, which is 60 pence cheaper than a downloadable Guitar Hero song (on PS3 - used as an example). Adding the Pro Guitar and Pro Bass parts to the song costs a further 59 pence.

Because of new Rock Band 3 functionality, all DLC added from here on out by Harmonix will be available only for that game - previous versions of Rock Band will have to make do with what has already been released. Mind you, that's over 2000 songs, 681 of which have been contributed by the Rock Band Network - the community-created part of the dream.

Fans can still make songs for older Rock Band games via the Rock Band Network, incidentally - and judging by early sales of Rock Band 3, such a move may be advisable.

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