Rock Band Network: You say you want a revolution...
Starting this year, musicians will be able to chart their own songs in Rock Band and sell them to other players. (Read Harmonix's press release here.)
I'll give you a second to process that.
In my opinion, this is the biggest gaming news story of the year.
There's not much else that needs to be said, really, but I wanted to weigh in with this: With Rock Band Network, Rock Band has become the most significant gaming platform for user-generated creative content.
This glowing post might seem a little ironic, seeing as it follows my earlier (and final) pep talk I could muster for the Guitar Hero franchise. After all, GHTunes amounted to little more than a distraction with its frustrating sequencing mechanics and limited MIDI instrumentation.
What Harmonix is on the brink of creating is something as significant as Napster or iTunes were to music -- and to the music industry. With tools available to anyone with a hundred bucks to cover the XNA Creators Club fee and the ability to chart notes in a MIDI application, Rock Band Network is truly an open marketplace. And thanks to the buffer of a required peer-review process before songs are greenlit, bands of all genres and sizes can stand to benefit from intimate exposure thanks to the engaging, hands-on nature of Rock Band.
With this step, Rock Band truly has come into its own as a legitimate platform - just as it aspired to be from the beginning - and not just a game with a mere six hundred downloadable songs.