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GNR To Get "Revenge" On Rock Band 2

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DATE: July 14, 2008

SOURCE: NY Times

Planned Guns N’ Roses Deal Underscores Power of Video Games to Sell Songs

By ROBERT LEVINE

Published: July 14, 2008

A decade and a half after releasing its previous album, Guns N’ Roses plans to put out a new song in September — on the video game Rock Band 2. MTV expects to announce on Monday that the sequel to its popular Rock Band game will include “Shackler’s Revenge,” a track from the Guns N’ Roses album that has been in the works for more than a decade, said people familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the arrangement has yet to be announced.

The inclusion of the song on a game suggests that the Guns N’ Roses album “Chinese Democracy” will come out this fall, after years of delays. Axl Rose, who has selected replacements for the other original members, has said that the album is finished, but a release date has not been announced.

MTV and Universal Music Group, Guns N’ Roses’ label, declined to comment on the deal.

Guns N’ Roses’ plan to reintroduce its music to the public in a video game underscores how important to the music business games have become — especially Rock Band and Activision’s Guitar Hero series, which allow gamers to play along with songs on instrument-shaped plastic controllers. Rock Band 2 will also include songs from marquee acts like AC/DC and Rush; the game may also feature music by Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan, according to a track listing leaked online. Activision recently released a version of Guitar Hero dedicated to Aerosmith, and a game based on Metallica is due next year.

Both Rock Band and Guitar Hero have helped the ailing music industry by licensing songs and using online networks to sell additional tracks for gamers to play along with. Those tracks, which usually sell for around $2 each, are more profitable for record companies and musicians than iTunes sales.

MTV, which has focused more than Activision on selling additional songs online, recently announced that it had sold 15 million tracks, and sales are especially impressive for hard-rock bands. During the week in June when Mötley Crüe released “Saints of Los Angeles,” the first single from its new album, the song sold 14,000 copies on iTunes and 48,000 on Rock Band through Microsoft’s Xbox Live network, said Allen Kovac, founder of the group’s management company and record label.

Perhaps more important, Rock Band is introducing young listeners to older bands they might not know. Mr. Kovac said that Mötley Crüe’s exposure in the game helped it sell more albums because gamers spend significant time with the band’s music. “I credit Rock Band for bringing in the younger audience,” Mr. Kovac said. “The people who downloaded that song aren’t just listening to it, they’re interacting with it.”

Guitar Hero and Rock Band have become sensations in the video-game business, creating a product category that a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests could be worth $1 billion this year in the United States alone. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has sold more than eight million copies since its fall release, according to the NPD Group, a sales-tracking company, while Rock Band has sold about 2.5 million in about the same period. Rock Band 2, to be released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in September and other consoles later in the fall, will face off against Guitar Hero World Tour this holiday season.

Rock Band has been an especially important promotional vehicle for bands that no longer get the radio play they once did. “On the last tour we started seeing young people who had heard of the band from Guitar Hero and Rock Band,” said Andy Curran, an executive at Anthem Records, the record company for the band Rush. So Rush gave Rock Band an alternate version of its song “Working Man,” which proved so popular that the group is now thinking of making it available through Apple’s iTunes store. It is also talking with MTV about selling a full album through Rock Band, Mr. Curran said, as well as some other projects.

MTV also sells digital songs through its stake in the Rhapsody online music service, and it could eventually cross-promote new tracks for Rock Band. Activision — now Activision Blizzard after its merger with Vivendi Games — may be thinking along similar lines, since its chief executive, Robert Kotick, recently said that the company was considering starting its own digital music store.

Online stores could further raise demand for older rock at a time when physical stores are closing. “These games absolutely have an impact because the opportunity to hear these songs on radio is dwindling,” said Mike Davis, executive vice president and general manager of Universal Music Enterprises. “This is becoming an important piece of the marketing puzzle.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/arts/mus...amp;oref=slogin

Related forum discussion:

http://www.mygnrforum.com/index.php?showto...t=0&start=0

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DATE: July 14, 2008

SOURCE: PRNewswire

Harmonix, MTV Games and Electronic Arts Set to Rock the World Again With Rock Band2; For the First Time Ever in a Music Videogame - Compete Against Other Bands Online; Export Music Tracks from Original Disc to Rock Band 2(1); Upgraded World Tour, Battle of the Bands, Set Challenges and Drum Trainer All Deliver an Authentic, Optimized Experience; Soundtrack to Feature Over 100 Songs From Unrivaled Blend of Classic, Developing and New Artists; Rock Band is the first music game to Support Open Platform By Officially Licensing Third Party Rock Band 2 Instruments: Mad Catz Premier Guitar Controllers, Cymbal Expansion Pack and Professional ION Alesis Drum Set

14 July 2008

PR Newswire (U.S.)

Copyright © 2008 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved.

LOS ANGELES, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Harmonix, the world's premier music video game development company, and MTV Games, a division of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), along with marketing and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERTS), today revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit new features for the next evolution of the groundbreaking music platform, Rock Band 2. With the original Rock Band title providing millions of players with a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, Rock Band 2 builds upon its core band foundation to offer an unparalleled, deeper, dynamic gameplay experience.

Rock Band 2 raises the bar in music gaming innovation with new features to rock the world:

-- Local and global online modes to connect the entire Rock Band community

-- World Tour mode, now online, simplifies the best of gameplay from the original Rock Band by fusing Solo Tour and Band World Tour modes and cranks it up a notch with an all new collection of opportunity gigs, challenges, cities, venues and hirable staff

-- Tour Challenges that offer rockers a chance to play through mini-campaigns focused on the best songs by instrument, decade, genre, artist, album and more

-- Battle of the Bands mode challenges players to go head to head against other bands in constantly refreshed contests* created by Harmonix (*internet connection required)

-- Quickplay makes it easier than ever to get in and jam without hassle while allowing for new prefab characters or customized characters that can play on any instrument plus lets you make your own set lists and organize your song lists in a variety of categories (genre, era, etc.)

-- Customizable Set Lists keep the music rolling and your band rocking in Quickplay mode

-- Drum Trainer mode gives players the fundamentals of different beats and fills, translating gameplay into real drumming skills

-- Character Creator completes your look with all new choices in clothing, accessories, tattoos, hairstyles, instruments and more to keep your unique rock avatar playing the full rock part

-- Backwards compatibility with all Rock Band downloadable music content released to date

-- Disc Export Feature gives owners of the original Rock Band the ability to export most of the Rock Band disc tracks and upgrade them into Rock Band 2 gameplay -- the first time ever in videogame history!(1)

Rock Band 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including:

-- The Rock Band 2 soundtrack will feature over 100 songs -- with over 80 songs on disc plus an additional 20 bonus tracks which will be made available for free download this fall.

-- Unrivaled Blend of Classic, Developing and Emerging rock acts including Pearl Jam, Metallica, Allman Brothers, Motorhead, Devo, Jane's Addiction, Megadeth, Paramore, Modest Mouse and more.

-- Rock Band 2 is the first and only video game to feature the music of AC/DC. It includes their epic rock anthem, "Let There Be Rock"

-- After 14 years since Guns N' Roses last official music release, Axl Rose selects Rock Band 2 to debut official new track, "Shackler's Revenge" from the highly-anticipated album Chinese Democracy

-- For the first time ever, music from American music icon, Bob Dylan, is featured in a video game with "Tangled Up In Blue"

-- With ongoing weekly DLC releases including individual tracks, track packs and full albums, the Rock Band music library will feature more than 500 songs by year's end!

From the solid officially licensed Rock Band 2 instruments to the expanded third party options, Rock Band 2 introduces new and improved choices that promise to deliver unsurpassed realism. In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games have become the first companies to officially support third party instruments and accessories in a music videogame.

Achieve ultimate stardom with the upgraded functionality and smooth new look of the official Rock Band 2 instruments.

-- Fender Stratocaster Controller takes on a new authentic look plus adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality and a built in calibration tool that automatically sets your AV setup to an ideal setting for maximum rock.

-- Drum set goes wireless while also featuring quieter, velocity sensitive drum pads and a metal reinforced pedal.

-- Microphone showcases authentic styling and weight.

Kick up the intensity with officially licensed third party instruments from Mad Catz:

-- Fender Telecaster Controller features soft buttons with lower action to help you shred faster than ever.

-- Fender Bass Controller, the first bass guitar controller ever, takes the shape of the Fender P-Bass with extended length, tuning pegs and a split strum bar to replicate finger-bass style picking.

-- Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller multiplies the authentic guitar experience by featuring a controller built into an actual Squire Stratocaster body.

-- Cymbal Expansion Pack is a straightforward but amazing upgrade to the Rock Band 2 drum set featuring add-on cymbals.

Take Rock Band 2 instrument authenticity to a whole new level with a high-end peripheral from ION:

-- ION Drum Rocker, a real electronic drum kit that functions as a game controller, brings the Rock Band fantasy to life featuring a simple substitution that takes the drum kit from a controller to a real instrument.

Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year. Rock Band 2 will be available for the PLAYSTATION® 3 and PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment systems and Wii later this year.

As previously revealed today, Rock Band will ship with an exclusive launch window on the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Benelux July 24th, and on other platforms this Fall.

The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 16 million paid downloads since the game's launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via disc and download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.

Rock Band 2 is rated "T" for Teen (lyrics, suggestive themes) by the ESRB.

For more information on Rock Band and Harmonix Music Systems please visit www.rockband.com and www.harmonixmusic.com.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 150 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 300 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About MTV Games

MTV Games is dedicated to creating, marketing and publishing high-quality, innovative interactive products that are relevant to the MTV audience and complement the core values of the MTV Networks brands.

About Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.

Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, and established in 1995, is the leading developer of groundbreaking music-oriented videogames. Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, who formed the company to invent new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit: www.harmonixmusic.com .

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

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DATE: July 14, 2008

SOURCE: gunsnroses.com

GN'R to get 'Revenge' on Rock Band 2

GunsNRoses.com

Get ready for "Shackler's Revenge." The track from the upcoming Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy will appear on the video game Rock Band 2, slated for release for the Xbox 360 platform in September.

The news was announced Monday morning by Harmonix president and CEO Alex Rigopulos at Microsoft’s press conference at E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition to "Shackler’s Revenge," Rock Band 2 will feature songs by Bob Dylan, Metallica, Pearl Jam and the Grateful Dead among the 80-plus songs on the playlist.

http://web.gunsnroses.com/news/article.jsp...s&fext=.jsp

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DATE: July 15, 2008

SOURCE: Rockbandstore.com

Rock Band 2 Special Edition for Xbox 360

Price $199.99

Availability Ships on Sep 14

More Music: An all-new, all-master soundtrack of classic songs spanning 40 years of rock'n'roll history.

More Instruments: Rock Band 2 features newly designed guitar and drum peripherals, with spiffier detail and a more realistic playing experience. These are all fully compatible with the original Rock Band instruments.

More Online Options: New ways to connect with other Rock Band players from across your street and around the world.

Full backwards compatibility: Any downloadable songs you've bought since Rock Band's original release will automatically join your Rock Band 2 songlist.

http://www.rockbandstore.com/detail.php?p=62752&v=All

*Thanks to darknemus.

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