FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Upgraded World Tour, Battle of the Bands, Set Challenges and Drum Trainer All Deliver an Authentic, Optimized Experience
Soundtrack to Feature Over 100 Songs From Unrivaled Blend of Classic, Developing and New Artists
Rock Band is the first music game to Support Open Platform By Officially Licensing Third Party Rock Band 2 Instruments: Mad Catz Premier Guitar Controllers, Cymbal Expansion Pack and Professional ION Alesis Drum Set
Los Angeles, Calif. – July 14, 2008 – Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game development company, and MTV Games, a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), along with marketing and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit new features for the next evolution of the groundbreaking music platform, Rock Band™ 2. With the original Rock Band title providing millions of players with a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, Rock Band 2 builds upon its core band foundation to offer an unparalleled, deeper, dynamic gameplay experience.
Rock Band 2 raises the bar in music gaming innovation with new features to rock the world:Local and global online modes to connect the entire Rock Band community World Tour mode, now online, simplifies the best of gameplay from the original Rock Band by fusing Solo Tour and Band World Tour modes and cranks it up a notch with an all new collection of opportunity gigs, challenges, cities, venues and hirable staff Tour Challenges that offer rockers a chance to play through mini-campaigns focused on the best songs by instrument, decade, genre, artist, album and more Battle of the Bands mode challenges players to go head to head against other bands in constantly refreshed contests* created by Harmonix (*internet connection required) Quickplay makes it easier than ever to get in and jam without hassle while allowing for new prefab characters or customized characters that can play on any instrument plus lets you make your own set lists and organize your song lists in a variety of categories (genre, era, etc.) Customizable Set Lists keep the music rolling and your band rocking in Quickplay mode Drum Trainer mode gives players the fundamentals of different beats and fills, translating gameplay into real drumming skills Character Creator completes your look with all new choices in clothing, accessories, tattoos, hairstyles, instruments and more to keep your unique rock avatar playing the full rock part Backwards compatibility with all Rock Band downloadable music content released to date Disc Export Feature gives owners of the original Rock Band the ability to export most of the Rock Band disc tracks and upgrade them into Rock Band 2 gameplay--the first time ever in videogame history! 
Rock Band 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including:The Rock Band 2 soundtrack will feature over 100 songs - with over 80 songs on disc plus an additional 20 bonus tracks which will be made available for free download this fall . Unrivaled Blend of Classic, Developing and Emerging rock acts including Pearl Jam, Metallica, Allman Brothers, Motorhead, Devo, Jane's Addiction, Megadeth, Paramore, Modest Mouse and more. Rock Band 2 is the first and only video game to feature the music of AC/DC. It includes their epic rock anthem, "Let There Be Rock” After 14 years since Guns N’ Roses last official music release, Axl Rose selects Rock Band 2 to debut official new track, “Shackler’s Revenge” from the highly-anticipated album Chinese Democracy For the first time ever, music from American music icon, Bob Dylan, is featured in a video game with “Tangled Up In Blue” With ongoing weekly DLC releases including individual tracks, track packs and full albums, the Rock Band music library will feature more than 500 songs by year’s end!
From the solid officially licensed Rock Band 2 instruments to the expanded third party options, Rock Band 2 introduces new and improved choices that promise to deliver unsurpassed realism. In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games have become the first companies to officially support third party instruments and accessories in a music videogame.
Achieve ultimate stardom with the upgraded functionality and smooth new look of the official Rock Band 2 instruments.Fender Stratocaster Controller takes on a new authentic look plus adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality and a built in calibration tool that automatically sets your AV setup to an ideal setting for maximum rock. Drum set goes wireless while also featuring quieter, velocity sensitive drum pads and a metal reinforced pedal. Microphone showcases authentic styling and weight.
Kick up the intensity with officially licensed third party instruments from Mad Catz:Fender Telecaster Controller features soft buttons with lower action to help you shred faster than ever. Fender Bass Controller, the first bass guitar controller ever, takes the shape of the Fender P-Bass with extended length, tuning pegs and a split strum bar to replicate finger-bass style picking. Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller multiplies the authentic guitar experience by featuring a controller built into an actual Squire Stratocaster body. Cymbal Expansion Pack is a straightforward but amazing upgrade to the Rock Band 2 drum set featuring add-on cymbals.
Take Rock Band 2 instrument authenticity to a whole new level with a high-end peripheral from ION:ION Drum Rocker, a real electronic drum kit that functions as a game controller, brings the Rock Band fantasy to life featuring a simple substitution that takes the drum kit from a controller to a real instrument.
Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year. Rock Band 2 will be available for the PLAYSTATION® 3 and PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment systems and Wii™ later this year.
As previously revealed today, Rock Band will ship with an exclusive launch window on the Xbox™ 360™ videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Benelux July 24th, and on other platforms this Fall.
The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 16 million paid downloads since the game’s launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via disc and download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.
Rock Band 2 is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, suggestive themes) by the ESRB.
For more information on Rock Band and Harmonix Music Systems please visit www.rockband.com and www.harmonixmusic.com.
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 more than 150 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, 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 300 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. 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
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.
© 2008 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Harmonix, Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., an MTV Networks company. Rock Band and Rock Band 2 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. “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