Yesterday we spent some time at Harmonix playing Rock Band and tried to get those lingering questions answered a week before launch. We also got some clarification on certain issues about the game and an explanation of the Canadian delay.
If there is anything you walk away with after spending a day at Harmonix and talking about Rock Band, it's the knowledge that downloadable content (DLC) will be a vital element. It was something Rock Band producer Helen McWilliams had mentioned at E3 to us as being "the big thing," but when you actually see the scope of it ... seriously, it's the big thing.
Although Harmonix PR coordinator John Drake wouldn't share the pricing of the downloadable songs, he did offer, "It'll take your breath away -- in a good way." Gamers should be pleased to hear that they'll be able to purchase songs in packs or as singles. The various members of the team we spoke to during our time at their offices know that DLC is where their financial bread will be smothered in Ben Franklin butter. During one interview, a member of the hardware development team wouldn't discuss whether they're actually taking a loss on the pricing of Rock Band with the expectation of making it up in the long run. Whatever money they may -- or may not -- be losing on selling the "music platform" (as they call Rock Band) in the short term, it appears the weekly DLC will be the thing bringing longevity to the product as opposed to yearly sequels.