Rock Band to return this year – and do battle with new Guitar Hero

Video games licensing will be big business again in 2015: Electronic Arts has confirmed that it will release guitar-based video game Rock Band 4 later this year – five years after the launch of the third game in the series.

The title is being developed by US firm Harmonix for the new wave of games consoles – Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.

The news comes weeks after it was heavily rumoured by games industry sources that Rock Band rival, Activision’s Guitar Hero, would also be making a comeback in 2015.

Harmonix promises to ‘expand the Rock Band franchise in innovative ways that were informed by how fans play and what they want’.

“With Rock Band 4, we’re doubling down on the energy and excitement of playing music live with your friends,” says Harmonix Chief Executive Officer Steve Janiak.

“Focusing on the core experience that our fans have told us they love allows us to evolve established gameplay in meaningful ways that we can’t wait to share with everyone later this year.”

“We couldn’t be happier to be working with Harmonix and help bring the band back together for the launch of Rock Band 4,” added Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz, who will create the microphone and instrument peripherals for the game.

“Harmonix possesses unrivalled passion and vision for music gaming and we can’t wait to introduce the next generation music platform to passionate gamers.”

As well as offering a new array of songs for consumers to play along with, Rock Band 4 will support over 2,000 tracks released since the 2007 launch of the original Rock Band, accounting for more than 500 of rock music’s most legendary artists.

More details will be released in May.

“Since the beginning, we’ve called Rock Band a music platform. Players responded by downloading hundreds of their favorite tracks, and building a massive library of playable music,” says Rock Band 4 Product Manager Daniel Sussman. “It’s important for us to respect those purchases and enable our fans to bring that content over to the Rock Band platform on new generation consoles.”Music Business Worldwide

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