Long after the last main entry in the series, Rock Band 4 finally brought back one of the most iconic rhythm party games when it launched on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last year. Many longtime fans, myself included, were happy to have the opportunity to play a new installment in Harmonix’s once-gargantuan franchise, but one common topic I’ve seen brought up by many fans is interest in the series receiving a PC release.
Today, Harmonix has officially announced and started a crowdfunding campaign for a PC release of Rock Band 4 on the gaming-centric website Fig, best known for another successful campaign for Psychonauts 2.
Currently aiming for a $1.5 million goal, the company is gunning for a release in late 2016 via Steam, and has enlisted the help of LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital to oversee the porting process so the core Rock Band 4 team can stay committed to producing DLC and updates for existing versions of the game. Many existing Rock Band-branded instrument controllers will work with the PC version, along with the option for newcomers to purchase instruments through Fig.
Besides hosting all the features, existing updates, and built-in and downloadable songs of the console versions, perhaps the most exciting feature exclusive to the PC port will be the return of the Rock Band Network. Previously used in Rock Band 2 and 3 from 2010 to 2013, the service allowed Xbox 360 users to use Harmonix’s track creation tools with their own songs and eventually release them as proper DLC through a peer review system, with select songs being ported by Harmonix to PlayStation 3 and Wii as well.
The new RBN will again make use of the track creation tools and an approval process by Harmonix while utilizing Steam Workshop’s infrastructure for distribution. As with the previous version, Harmonix will add approved songs to the in-game music store and split the revenue with the creators. The developer also stated that, while the general service will not be available for consoles, they may once again port select tracks to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 themselves.
The campaign will run until April 5, with the various reward tiers for donors offering goodies like a copy of Harmonix’s PC title A City Sleeps, early access to the game, free song DLC, and even opportunities to visit Harmonix themselves.
While there’s no guarantee Harmonix will reach its funding goal, the idea of Rock Band 4 being accessible to a wider audience, along with the return of user-generated content, is certainly an enticing one, so here’s hoping this port becomes a reality.