Harmonix wants Rock Band players to make own music tracks

Keyboard peripheral "may happen".

Harmonix's Greg LoPiccolo has said the studio is keen to give Rock Band players the chance to create their own music tracks for the game.

Speaking to good old GamesIndustry.biz LoPiccolo said there are "a couple [of] specific directions" Harmonix is looking at for Rock Band.

"We would like to make it possible for people to introduce their own music into sort of the Rock Band ecosystem, which is a pretty complicated topic. It isn't easy to achieve - there are IP issues, ratings issues, and so forth," he explained.

"So there are a lot of things to work through to get that to work, but that seems like a natural direction for the franchise to move. We'd love to have it be a vehicle for people to be able to express themselves in terms of creating their own music and bringing it to a wider audience."

LoPiccolo went on to suggest there's room for more creative freedom within Rock Band even without allowing players to write songs. "We think there is a lot more potential for personal self-expression within that envelope. You can see just little bits and pieces of it - there are drum fills, rock endings," he observed.

"There are ways for people to play distinctive roles and express themselves, but that's only a tiny fraction of the overall experience. We see a lot of potential for expanding that."

According to LoPiccolo, there will be more song purchasing options in future - including perhaps a system more like iTunes that will allow you to buy full albums, which was the desire in the beginning. As for rumours of a keyboard peripheral: "Who knows? It may happen one day," said LoPiccolo. "It is actually conceptually pretty difficult to build in.

"Most consoles are set up for four peripherals, not five, which means you have to drop something. Which means that the song offering is more complicated.

"You know, it is a big commitment. And then the question is, are there enough rock songs with compelling keyboard parts to make it worthwhile? And maybe the answer is yes, but we've been pretty busy and we haven't really gotten there yet."

A European release date for Rock Band has yet to be confirmed, but last we heard it will be some time after 1st April. PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii versions are promised.

In the meantime you can read the full interview with LoPiccolo over on GamesIndustry.biz - where fact plays lead guitar, information is on drums and truth plays the news maracas.

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