On Tuesday, Harmonix’s Fig campaign unfortunately closed after only achieving 52% of its funding goal for the game, Rock Band 4 for PC. The company, which is behind various popular games such as Rock Band, Dance Central, and Kickstarter project Amplitude, launched the initiative last month seeking $1.5 million for the game’s development.
Following the campaign’s closing, Harmonix offered up an update:
“How do we feel about the end of the campaign? Disappointed, obviously. There’s no shortage of people at Harmonix who love Rock Band, and some of us got extra excited at the prospect of bringing back RBN, and even more about getting the chance to expose RB to a brand new audience.
“But at the same time we learned exactly what we needed to learn: there doesn’t seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now. We’re committed to supporting and improving RB4 on consoles. To be clear, we raised nearly $800,000 via backers and investors; it’s an impressive showing of support from our community and for our brand. But as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we’re not sure has a big enough audience, and crowdfunding allowed us to (among other things) judge the market fit for Rock Band PC.”
The Harmonix team also went to address why they decided to create the game now after fans asked about it for years:
“There are solid reasons why we chose to launch it now. The first is that, although we wanted to launch a PC version alongside the consoles last fall, in order to best utilize the resources we have at the studio we had to prioritize our work based on potential audience size. Even though the personnel running the campaign now are not assigned to RB4, it was ‘all hands on deck’ late last year for the final push.
“The second best launch date for the PC version would have been alongside the major feature update to the console versions this fall. To that end, we started working on this crowdfunding campaign almost immediately after RB4 launched, and it took us nearly 3 months of scoping and research to make sure we understood what we were building (including a great deal of thinking about how RBN would work using the Steam Workshop). In the end, the final launch date of the campaign was determined in cooperation with the team at Fig.”
The team also noted why they asked for funds from fans despite making millions of Harmonix’s other games:
“Rock Band was successful, but at the time that RB was at the peak of popularity Harmonix was wholly owned by Viacom/MTV. Since then we have gone independent, and have limited resources compared to the days we were owned by a giant media conglomerate. We were willing to commit $500,000 of our own capital towards the development of RB4 for PC. We also committed to ongoing support of the PC version as a core Rock Band platform, alongside the Xbox One and PlayStation®4, with the same regular updates and DLC stream. But we can’t fund the entire development, especially without knowing whether there’s a market (hence crowdfunding).”
In regards to whether or not the game will still be developed, the company added:
“It’s certainly in the realm of possibility that we might try again in the future, or find another path to get Rock Band for PC made. We love the PC as a platform, and we’re excited by the possibilities and freedom it allows for User Generated Content, but right now we don’t have any specific plans to make it happen.”
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