Harmonix launches Rock Band Network

Harmonix has announced that it's launched "Rock Band Network", an attempt to get more content into the Rock Band franchise, to see off competition from Neversoft's Guitar Hero.

The new service will let unsigned acts upload their songs to the Xbox Live Marketplace, so that anyone will be able to buy it. All bands need to do is create a MIDI representation of the song, record it to an acceptable quality level, and then submit it for peer review. If accepted, it'll go live.

The new system will also allow record companies to get their music into the game quicker. Creators set their own price, with a floor of 50 cents and a ceiling of $3, and will receive 30% of any revenues generated. Harmonix says that it decided to create the system because it wasn't able to create the tracks it wanted ingame fast enough.

"Once we flip on the infrastructure, we can go from a few dozen people capable of doing this work to hundreds of people or more. We can ramp up by a factor of 10 or more the rate of production of content", said Harmonix founder/CEO Alex Rigopulos.

And, of course, once consumers have their favourite songs in Rock Band format, they're arguably less likely to go out and buy Guitar Hero. Tracks created using the service, however, will for now only be available on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

The service will launch later this year, but if you're keen and want to get in there as fast as possible, then grab yourself a copy of the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation software that the company will be using, and start putting your songs together.