Just yesterday Harmonix community team member Cian Rice was optimistically musing on the company’s official blog about the future of rhythm games on PC. Today, Harmonix has announced a partnership with Fig to bring Rock Band 4 to the PC.
Helmed by Harmonix’s chief creative officer Alex Rigopulos, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment Feargus Urquhart, and former COO of Double Fine Justin Bailey (under the advisement of such industry luminaries as Tim Shafter and Brian Fargo), Fig is a new video game crowdfunding platform that facilitates both donations from individuals and more traditional investors like publishers. With the campaign for Rock Band 4, fans will have a choice to either back the game and receive traditional rewards, as with Kickstarter, or make an investment and see a return on the game’s revenues.
For the release of Rock Band 4, Harmonix is aiming for a September 2016 debut on Steam, and are asking 1.5 million to make it happen. As of this writing, they already have 68 backers and have met $50,000 of their total goal. The campaign will continue for 35 days. As part of the PC release, Rock Band 4 will be updated to include tools for user-generated songs that can be uploaded in the Steam Workshop for sharing with the community. It will launch with all the features of the original game and will be updated alongside the console version as new content becomes available. Harmonix also boast a World Tour Campaign Mode, freestyle guitar solos, wireless guitar, drum kit, and next-gen microphone support, as well as 65 songs “out of the box” with over 1,700 as DLC and 33 additional songs for Fig backers.
This is not Harmonix’s first venture into crowdfunded games; Amplitude, a digital revival of the 2003 PlayStation 2 original, was successfully funded through Kickstarter and was released (albeit with a few problems) on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 this past January. Their recent move towards crowdfunding follows signs of financial trouble at the music game company in wake of Microsoft’s diminishing support for the Kinect, from the mass exodus of long time employees to the cancellation of a Kinect game a few years ago.
Their partnership with Fig was announced back in September for an unknown game and with no other revelations made in the past few months, Rock Band 4 was likely it. For more on this story as it develops keep an eye on the Gameranx site tag.