Rock and roll fans of Wii have some disappointing news. Harmonix has announced that it will drop network support for the Wii editions of Rock Band from January 18, reports digital spy.com.
This was also revealed in a forum post by community manager for Harmonix Aaron Trites, who wrote, “the Rock Band Network will no longer be available on the console from January 18”.
With the smaller online install base, limited demand for releases so far and the significant amount of work it takes for our producers and audio team to convert and process these additional tracks, we're no longer able to continue submitting RBN content to the Wii, he said.
He added that the Wii users will still have access to regular DLC. The online service for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will continue uninterrupted.
Over 13 million copies of Rock Band titles have been sold to date, and over 70 million songs have been downloaded via the franchise library, reports Digital Spy.
Rock Band 3 is the third release in the iconic video game series which allows fans to live out their rock and roll fantasies even online. The game features include a song list from every era of Rock and Roll history, note highway gameplay, compatibility with earlier releases in the series and all platform-specific instrument controllers, a 3-part harmonies and a keyboard peripheral and expanded play modes.
To players of this genre the news comes as no surprise as they say Wii just does not have the system requirements for games like Rock Band. The highest demand for any release hardly ever crosses the 1000 mark.
The largest selling song on Wii going by Leaderboard numbers is Higher by Creed which is only at 803 at the moment. This is much lesser than the songs for the X-Box 360 and PS3 which routinely run into 1000s and above.
It is also argued that the era of rhythm games is coming to an end. The units are not selling as much as earlier and the cost of developing the games and getting license for the master tracks to be played add up to the overall expense. The popularity of Guitar Hero is down. Deff Jam totally flopped in the market, and DLC supports are getting costlier.
The demand base for the games in this genre is saturated. To overcome the lag in business, a slew of titles were released in a quick succession adding to the problem.
“No business model in the world will ever explain the release of five guitar-related titles in a single year. The whole point of spacing out releases is to make people wait for the next one, instead of wearing down the entire consumer base in little under the span of a year,” comments Gaming union.net.
The companies have to find ways to integrate new gameplay features using what hardware players already have if they want to survive in a saturated market. Another avenue maybe to target the actual musicians and persuade them to endorse, play and even use these gamers in their gigs. It would be great advertisements for the games and attract more serious users too.