The next version of Rock Band is in development for current-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to a Bloomberg Business report citing a source familiar with the plans.
Series creator Harmonix Music Systems is developing the game, the source says.
This week’s report is the latest in a series hinting at Rock Band’s return. Last month, Harmonix distributed a survey asking fans what they’d like in a current-gen sequel and asking which consoles players owned between PS4, Xbox One and Wii U. That followed a similar survey last June. January also saw the release of the first new tracks in two years. And just this week, the Rock Band music store got new DLC. The two new songs are both about things you love coming back.
The once-popular rhythm game series debuted in 2007, after MTV Games purchased Harmonix, the studio that created the similar Guitar Hero series. Both franchises put players in the role of musicians, playing plastic instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards in time with what became hundreds of songs. Harmonix is now an independent studio.
The most recent full game in the franchise, Rock Band 3, was released in 2010. An offshoot, Rock Band Blitz, arrived in 2012 and focused on standard controllers rather than big plastic instruments. In April 2013, after 281 weeks of DLC additions to the Rock Band store, the studio held a sing-along to mark the end of that era.
The Boston-area developer’s rhythm-based games include Frequency, Amplitude and its upcoming reboot, the Kinect-based Dance Central series and Fantasia: Music Evolved.
This time last year, Harmonix announced a hybrid rhythm game/first-person shooter called Chroma, in cooperation with developer Hidden Path Entertainment. The free-to-play shooter’s beta ended last June, and its fate remains uncertain, as the developer said it needed “some substantial retooling.”
Update: We contacted Harmonix for comment on the report and Rock Band’s future, and a representative from the developer provided Polygon with the following statement:
We’re excited by how enthusiastic our fans have been in regards to our most recent DLC releases, and we think it’s awesome that people are speculating about the future of the franchise!
While we don’t have anything to announce, hundreds of thousands of unique users are still actively playing Rock Band games each month. This passion our fans have shown for Rock Band over the years suggests that rock truly hasn’t died, and we’ve always been clear that we’d love to return to the franchise when the time is right.