During a PAX East Keynote address, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos expressed an intention to bring back his company’s popular Rock Band and Dance Central franchises on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
“[The Rock Band and Dance Central franchises] are near and dear to our hearts and our minds,” he said. “We have grand plans to bring back both of them with guns blazing at some point in the coming console cycle.”
The statement, first reported by Gamespot, was preceded by a clarification that Rigopulos wasn’t announcing any specific titles. In that context, this new declaration isn’t all that different from the one he made last year, when he said the company would revisit Rock Band “at the right point in time.” This new statement does, however, specify that the “right point” is apparently during this hardware generation.
Of course, having a plan for something and actually executing on that plan are often worlds apart, and the hefty amounts of music licensing required for those two titles could slow down the process.
Rock Band in particular could prove a tricky beast, not just because a sequel on new hardware would necessitate an entirely new set of instrument controllers, but because the franchise has a tradition of allowing players to carry on-disc and DLC songs over to new versions of the game. Allowing them to transfer to a new platform would be an enormous licensing hurdle, and forcing players to abandon songs they spent money on probably wouldn’t go over too smoothly.
Regardless, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything on either game for quite some time. Harmonix already has their hands full with two major projects—the free-to-play music-based FPS Chroma and Fantasia: Music Evolved, which Ray and I went hands-on with at GDC. On top of that, Rigopulos also announced music-themed endless runner Record Run during the keynote and promised “lots of other irons in the fire” on phones and tablets.