Rock Band 4 is trying to get a PC release, and it has an uphill battle to achieve its goal.
Today, Harmonix released a new FIG campaign to crowdfund Rock Band 4 for the PC for a possible Fall 2016 release. According to Harmonix, the campaign is their attempt to get both Rock Band 4 and revive Rock Band Network, the database for their catalog of over 1,700 songs, onto Steam.
The pitch by Harmonix talks about how the Rock Band Network was difficult to maintain for their studio, leading to its discontinuation in 2014. For Harmonix, reviving the Rock Band Network in conjunction with Rock Band 4 will simplify the approval process, since Steam Workshop now becomes the overhead entity to worry about, which means theoretically any user can upload their own songs onto the Network through Harmonix. "using Steam Workshop, you can submit those files to us—we'll do a quick check to make sure they play properly and include music you own, and then put them into the game via the Rock Band 4 in-game store," Stated the FIG pitch. "Steam Workshop makes sure you get your cut of the revenues when they sell."
For those less interested in the Rock Band Network, Harmonix is promising some goodies for pure Rock Band 4 fans. Including keyboard and mouse support for menu navigation and supporting wireless guitars, drum kits and microphones, Rock Band 4 for the PC will the complete version from the consoles, including current updates, and will offer 33 additional songs if you back the Fig campaign.
Harmonix is allowing consumers to sign up as straight up backers, or investors for the project, as per Fig rules. It is currently estimated that around 70,000 copies of Rock Band 4 at an average wholesale of $33.60 need to be sold for investors to get break even on their shares, which are priced at $250 per share. Investments will be for the core game only, not future DLC sales.
All the money being raised, which is set at a goal of $1.5 million in 35 days, will be going to testing and developing a PC version of Rock Band 4, with the extra estimated $500,000 contributed by Harmonix themselves. Harmonix is projecting selling around 150,000 copies of the game within the first year. Sadly, cross-platform support is not promised, and may likely be difficult to pull off due to licensing issues.
It should be noted that Alex Rigopolus, co-founder of Harmonix, is currently on the Fig advisory board. FIG, as a crowdfunding and investment platform, came into major prominence after the successful campaign for Double Fine's Psychonauts 2 by Tim Schafer, another member of the advisory board. Currently, Rock Band 4 and another game by Interbang Entertainment, Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, based on the Kevin Smith characters and universe, are active on FIG at this time. A third project, Consortium: The Tower will also be launching on FIG soon after their failed Kickstarter attempt a few weeks ago.
So what do you think? Is this a good move by Harmonix? Will Rock Band 4 be successful with their asking price? Leave your comments below.