Thursday, 5 March 2015

Exclusinterview: Nick Chester (Harmonix)

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Earlier today I talked about Rock Band 4 being announced for PS4 and Xbox One, coming out later this year, but that's really all of the information that was released, other than a dev diary. I decided to follow up with Harmonix, and I've managed to grab a quick interview with Harmonix's PR Lead, Nick Chester, and here's what he said...

GAK: What made you want to rejuvenate the Rock Band franchise after such a long time away from it? 
We’ve always intended to come back to the franchise at some point – we’ve been saying as much for years! But the timing had to be right for us in terms of where the new consoles were in their life cycle and, more importantly, where our creative vision was for the title. We had to have the right idea, the right creative energy, and it’s all come together for us for Rock Band 4. We’re so excited to evolve the Rock Band experience on new platforms.
GAK: Are you thinking of adding any new modes other than the likes of Tour?
We’re not really discussing new features at this time. We’ll have more information to share later this year!
GAK: Will the gameplay differ much to previous Rock Band entries?
I can’t really get into specifics, but I can say that the core Rock Band gameplay that fans love and know will be making a return. We have some truly amazing innovations that will add to the experience, but we’re not ready to talk about them just yet… soon!
GAK: How important is it to you that the fans help develop and shape the game? Do you think that this open development can help revive the music genre after its little hiatus?
It’s absolutely vital for us to get feedback from our players and fans – we’ve already started it by sending out some public surveys over the past year. As we’ve said, we look at Rock Band 4 as THE Rock Band game for the generation, and intend to update the game with content and features that will be informed by how people are playing the game and what fans want.
GAK: Mad Catz are making the peripherals this time around; what can we expect the price range to be?
Mad Catz is an amazing partner with a lot of experience on the hardware side, and we’re excited to be working with them. In terms of pricing, we’re not quite ready to talk about that at the moment.
GAK: Last of all, what's the hardest song that you've completed on Expert in any Guitar Hero game?
Speaking personally, I’m proud of the fact that I was able to get through “Green Grass and High Tides” on Expert guitar… just barely, though. I’m not ashamed – it’s all in good fun.

Rock Band 4 comes out later this year for PS4 and Xbox One. Harmonix are also developing a reboot of their classic Amplitude, coming to PS3 and PS4, which will be playable at PAX East from tomorrow!

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