New York, NY – March 26, 2009 -- MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks, (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), Harmonix, the leading developer of music-based games, and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today announced that the Rock Band® franchise has officially surpassed $1 billion dollars in North American retail sales in 15 months, according to The NPD Group. In addition, over 40 million paid individual songs have been sold via download through the Rock Band® platform furthering its position as the music video game leader in paid song sales and downloadable content with over 600 songs available to date in the Rock Band catalogue.
Originally launched on November 20, 2007, Rock Band is the multi-million unit selling, genre-defining music game platform that allowed music fans and gamers to interact with and discover music like never before by choosing guitar, drums, vocals, or bass to start a band and rock the world. Developed by Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game development company, and published by MTV Games, the Rock Band platform has had a positive impact on the overall promotion and sales of music, benefiting artists included in the game both directly through royalties associated with game sales and indirectly by causing the sale of more songs and albums.
Key Stats for the Rock Band Franchise
• Rock Band® franchise has officially surpassed $1 billion dollars in North American retail sales in 15 months, according to the NPD Group
• Rock Band was the #1 title of 2008 by revenue across all game genres (NPD)
Music / Downloadable Content
• 614 songs offered via the Rock Band platform, both on-disc and in-game music store, as of March 24, 2009
• 269 different artists / bands offered via Rock Band franchise as of March 24, 2009
• Over 40 million paid songs have been sold via download since Rock Band launched on November 20, 2007
• 11 albums released to date via the Rock Band platform including AC/DC Live, The Cars, Judas Priest, Pixies, Mötley Crüe, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megadeth, Rush, No Doubt and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as special compilations from The Who, Nirvana, The Grateful Dead, Boston and more
• Average Metacritic score of 92  for both Rock Band and Rock Band 2
• Rock Band and Rock Band 2 have garnered more than 50 industry awards including:
• IGN’s “Best Music/Rhythm Game of 2008”
• Gamespot.com’s Editor’s Choice Winner for “Best Rhythm / Music Game of 2008”
• Spike TV’s 2008 Video Game Award Winner for “Best Music Game” and “Best Soundtrack in a Game”
• Gametrailers.com “Best Music and Rhythm Game 2008”
• PlayStation: The Official Magazine’s “Best Rhythm Game of 2008”
• Yahoo’s “Best Party Game of the Year – 2008” and named one of Yahoo’s “Best Tech Products of 2008”
• G4 TV’s X-Play “Best Music Game of 2008”
• Named as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainers of the Year 2008”
• Called “Best party game of the year” by the Associated Press
• Named as one of USA Today’s “Top Video Games of 2008”
• Cited as one of MSNBC.com’s Top Video Games of 2008 and one of the Best Xbox 360 Games of 2008
• Heralded as “hands down the best party game ever” by Time magazine and named as one of Time’s Top Video Games of 2008
Rock Band Franchise Innovations
• First full band music video game to hit consoles
• First music video game to offer export of content library from disc and cross compatibility of downloadable content (DLC) in sequel games.
• First music video game to offer weekly downloadable content (averaging more than 3 songs per week since its launch on November 20, 2007)
• Lead the way for full compatibility and interoperability between competing peripherals
• First music video game to allow for export of avatars and other game data to create real life merchandise
• First music video game to offer full albums as downloadable content: Judas Priest’s “Screaming for Vengeance,” released in June 2008
• First music game to offer a new song day-and-date with its release to radio, with Mötley Crüe’s “Saints of Los Angeles”
For more information about Rock Band, please visit www.rockband.com
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, Gametrailers and Xfire.
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. 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 and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit www.harmonixmusic.com.
About Electronic Arts Inc.
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 video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS Freestyle TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 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.
© 2009 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Harmonix, Rock Band and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., a MTV Networks company. Rock Band developed by Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. MTV: Music Television, MTV Games and all related titles and logos are trademarks of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox. Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. “PlayStation” and “PLAYSTATION” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Harmonix Media Contact:
(209) 586-1495 x104