Harmonix bids farewell to Rock Band 4 DLC, shifts focus to Fortnite Festival

After eight years of weekly releases, Harmonix has announced that it will stop adding new songs to Rock Band 4, the latest installment of its popular rhythm game franchise. The studio will now concentrate on developing and supporting Fortnite Festival, a free-to-play music game within the Fortnite ecosystem.

Rock Band 4 was launched in October 2015, five years after the release of Rock Band 3 and the decline of the plastic instrument genre that dominated the gaming scene in the late 2000s. Rock Band 4 aimed to revive the interest and excitement for playing along to songs with guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, using both new and old controllers.

Harmonix bids farewell to Rock Band 4 DLC, shifts focus to Fortnite Festival
Harmonix bids farewell to Rock Band 4 DLC, shifts focus to Fortnite Festival

The game was well-received by critics and fans, who praised its gameplay, soundtrack, and compatibility with previous Rock Band titles. However, it failed to achieve the same level of success and popularity as its predecessors, facing challenges such as the scarcity of instrument controllers, the rise of other music games, and the changing tastes of gamers.

Despite these difficulties, Harmonix remained committed to supporting Rock Band 4 with new songs every week, adding up to nearly 3,000 DLC tracks over the course of eight years. The studio also introduced new features and modes, such as Rivals, online multiplayer, and Rockudrama. The last DLC release for Rock Band 4 will be on January 25, 2024, marking the end of a remarkable run for the series.

Fortnite Festival: The future of rhythm gaming

Harmonix is not leaving the music game scene, however. The studio, which was acquired by Epic Games in 2021, has been working on Fortnite Festival, a new rhythm game that is part of the Fortnite universe. Fortnite Festival was launched in December 2023, along with two other games, as part of the Fortnite Creative expansion.

Fortnite Festival allows players to play songs from various genres using a controller, similar to Rock Band. The game features a rotating selection of songs that can be played for free anytime, as well as a premium subscription that unlocks more songs and benefits. The game also supports cross-play and cross-progression across different platforms.

Harmonix has stated that Fortnite Festival is the place to be for fans of the rhythm game category, and that it will continue to update and improve the game with new songs, features, and events. The studio has also confirmed that support for Rock Band 4 instruments is coming soon to Fortnite Festival, so players can still use their guitars and drums to rock out.

A thank you note to the Rock Band community

Harmonix has expressed its gratitude and appreciation to the Rock Band community, which has been loyal and supportive of the series for over a decade. The studio has said that it is proud of the Rock Band DLC catalog, which represents a huge achievement in persistence and commitment. The studio has also assured that all the songs that players own in Rock Band 4 will not be going anywhere, and that they can keep playing them for as long as they like.

Harmonix has also hinted that Rock Band 4 may not be the final chapter of the series, saying that it hopes to see the Rock Band community again in the future. The studio has said that it is always looking for new ways to innovate and create amazing music experiences for players, and that it is excited for what lies ahead.

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