CAMBRIDGE, MA - May 8, 2007 - Harmonix, developer of the blockbuster Guitar Hero franchise, MTV: Music Television, a division of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) will have their instruments exclusively featured in the upcoming videogame Rock Band, an all-new platform for music fans and gamers to experience and connect with music. In addition, Roland Corporation and BOSS have agreed to have their brands featured within Rock Band.
To deliver the ultimate interactive music experience in Rock Band, Harmonix and MTV have secured an agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, the world's most respected manufacturer of electric guitars and amplifiers, that will allow the Rock Band game controller peripheral to be modeled after the legendary Fender Stratocaster, one of the most enduring and iconic models of electric guitar in the world. In addition, Fender guitars, basses and amps will be exclusively featured in the game.
"Fender is pleased to be part of Rock Band and the exciting opportunity it offers passionate music fans and gamers," said Bill Mendello, CEO of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. "Our friends at Harmonix have done an amazing job of capturing the power and style of legendary Fender products within the virtual gaming experience and delivering it all in the spirit of rock 'n' roll."
To further raise the level of Rock Band's authenticity, Roland Corporation, the world's leading innovator in electronic instruments, and BOSS, recognized for its line of guitar effects pedals, have agreed to have their brands featured in Rock Band in-game and via co-marketing.
"Part of Roland's mission is to bring people closer to the music they love. Rock Band certainly fulfills that goal by bringing a deeply interactive music experience to the world, and having Roland featured in the game is a great honor," stated Dennis Houlihan, President and CEO of Roland Corporation U.S.
"Like the Fender Stratocaster, BOSS effects pedals have a long distinguished history," states BOSS U.S. President Paul Youngblood. "We've worked with Fender on many projects in the past and we're honored to be sharing this experience with them. Having the Strat® in Rock Band is going to take the virtual world by storm and when it does, we'll be proud to have the BOSS name and pedals right there with it."
"The Stratocaster has been the weapon of choice for many of the world's legendary guitarists. Giving players the opportunity to rock out using a guitar peripheral modeled after the Strat really adds to the authenticity of the experience," said Alex Rigopulos, president and co-founder of Harmonix. "Many of the staff here at Harmonix play Fender and Roland instruments and use BOSS effects pedals in their own bands, so we are thrilled to be able to work with these companies."
Rock Band will allow players to play solo or recruit bandmates and jam side-by-side or virtually online, playing music from the greatest rock artists of all time. Built on unprecedented deals with the world's biggest record labels and music publishers, the music featured in Rock Band will span all genres of rock and include many master recordings.
The title is slated for release on PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® in holiday 2007. For more information on Rock Band and Harmonix Music Systems please visit www.rockbandgame.com and www.harmonixmusic.com.
Electronic Arts will serve as the exclusive distribution and marketing partner for Rock Band, managing distribution for the game in US, Europe and Australia.
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 130 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, LOGO, 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 200 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. The company pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US with the introduction of Frequency in 2001 and Amplitude in 2003. 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. Harmonix is best known as the creator of blockbuster titles Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II, the Karaoke Revolution series of singing games, and EyeToy: Antigrav. For more information please visit: http://www.harmonixmusic.com
About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world's foremost manufacturer of guitars, amplifiers and related equipment. Since 1946, its name has become synonymous with all things rock 'n' roll. Iconic Fender instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today's guitarists and collectors. FMIC markets using the brand names Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, SWR®, Tacoma®, Olympia® and Brand X®. For more information, please visit www.fender.com.
Roland is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of electronic musical instruments, professional audio equipment, multimedia products, and music accessories. For more information, contact Roland Corporation U.S., 5100 S. Eastern Ave., P.O. Box 910921, Los Angeles, CA 90091-0921, (323) 890-3700 (x3718 - for media use only.
Known around the world as the company that put the "stomp" in "stompbox," BOSS is the division of Roland Corporation most easily recognized for its legendary line of colorful guitar and bass effects pedals. But beyond these killer pedals, BOSS has pushed the envelope for over 30 years with innovative multi-effects, rhythm machines, personal digital studios and other easy-to-use instruments for musicians of all types. For more information about BOSS products and news visit www.BOSSUS.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 videogame systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 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.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Guitar Hero II ® 2006 RedOctane, Inc. Guitar Hero is a trademark and RedOctane is a registered trademark of RedOctane, Inc. All rights reserved. Engine code ® 2006 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. Developed by Harmonix Music Systems.
"PLAYSTATION is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.. Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
"Rock Band Copyright ® 2007 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved."
Harmonix Media Contact:
(209) 586-1495 x104