When Rock Band initially launched in 2007, Harmonix touted it as a platform for players going forward. While subsequent launches and peripherals joined the mix in the succeeding years, the main pillar for that claim is the developer’s steadfast support of the Rock Band platform through its aggressive downloadable content schedule. Today, however, the studio announced the end of Rock Band 4 downloadable content.
The news comes more than two years after Harmonix was acquired by Fortnite and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games. Epic has since leveraged the studio’s expertise for a side game within Fortnite called Fortnite Festival, which utilizes gameplay similar to the Rock Band. In the time since the studio’s acquisition, the developer has closed the online servers for Rock Band 3, ended post-launch support for Fuser, and now, has ended Rock Band 4’s more-than-eight-year run of weekly DLC.
According to Harmonix, the final DLC, which is scheduled to release on January 25, will reflect the team’s feelings about this news. “We deliberated long and hard about how to frame the last blast of RB DLC of this era,” Harmonix product manager Daniel Sussman wrote in a blog post. “The last two weeks will feature some tear-jerkers that sum up our feelings about this moment.”
Today, which is the second-to-last release for this run of DLC, includes Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and The Troggs’ “Our Love Will Still Be There.” When Harmonix closed out Rock Band 3 DLC in 2013, its final release was Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
The developer trailblazed forward compatible downloadable content, even leaping across console generations and rolling over the majority of its base-game songs into future entries. Outside of a break that started in April 2013 and lasted until Rock Band 4 launched in October 2015 (save for a random week in January 2015), Harmonix has supported the Rock Band series through weekly DLC drops since 2007. To date, Harmonix has released more than 3,000 songs through downloadable content.
If you’d like to read more about Harmonix’s ambitions and legacy, check out this old feature I wrote in 2013 about how Harmonix sparked a DLC revolution with Rock Band. For more on the future of Harmonix under Epic Games, check out our interview with Harmonix founder and head Alex Rigopolous here.