Mad Catz nabs Rock Band 3 publishing rights, plans bundle for the holidays

The musical rhythm genre lived a rock star’s life. It rocketed to success, got drunk with power, had a few popular albums, and then sold out. An overabundance of releases and a lack of innovation killed the genre, forcing Rock Band to dance for money at the local dive bar. But now, with the help of peripheral-maker Mad Catz, the band is getting another shot at the big time.

Above: We played around with some of Mad Catz’s RB3 gear last year

Mad Catz has announced that it signed a deal with Harmonix for publishing rights of Rock Band 3, letting them re-bundle the critically acclaimed title for the 2011 holiday season and beyond. Seeing as Rock Band 3 was considered by many to be the best in the series (we called it the “The Sergeant Pepper of music games” and gave it a 10 out of 10), this is fantastic news.

Pricing information hasn’t been released just yet, but Mad Catz has confirmed that they’ll be bundling the game with their wireless keyboard controller, Wireless Fender Stratocaster guitar controller, and Wireless Fender Mustang Pro guitar. The Pro guitar alone originally retailed for $150 and let gamers play the actual notes and learn the instrument through the game. Odds are this new bundle will slice that price down to make it easier to justify the purchase, since it was one of the larger selling points of Rock Band 3 to begin with. Plus, we could totally stand to learn how to play the real guitar. It would make us significantly more interesting.

We loved Rock Band 3, and were sad to see it falter when it hit retail shelves last year. Hopefully this bundle is just the thing it needs to get back up and running, since we’re totally ready to spend some more money on new plastic instruments and Rock Band DLC. It’s time to get the band back together, everyone—let’s kick this world tour into full gear.

Aug 10, 2011


  • ReasonableFanboy - August 13, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    Though the rest of the article is reasonable, the first paragraph is simply beyond irksome. It seems journalists are rather quick to say that Rock Band and music games in general burnt out, or worse, "sold out," when in fact Harmonix absolutely perfected the rhythm game formula with Rock Band 3 and sees no need to revisit it for the time being. That rant having finished, Mad Catz's repackaging is rather insubstantial and (as far as I can see) will likely garner little in terms of sales numbers. However, none of that matters as long as Harmonix keeps pumping out the DLC.
  • DecoyOctorok - August 11, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    This is definitely something I'll consider buying. I've never owned any of the previous Rock Bands because I would just go over to friends' houses to play. The main reason that I didn't get Rock Band 3 was because it didn't come with any sort of instrument bundle.
  • Tranquilbez34 - August 11, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    I'm a huge Rock Band Fan. This is great News! the cymbols on my GHWT broke and I want the keyboard badly! this better be cheap
  • avantguardian - August 11, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    @enigmaspirit: everyone i know (including myself) that enjoys playing rock band is a musician. claiming that they're mutually exclusive forms of entertainment/creativity is just pretentious. sorry man, but doing one and not the other doesn't make you cool (though it should be noted that enjoying both doesn't make you cool, either).
  • EnigmaSpirit - August 11, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    I play real guitar. It has an unlimited tracklist, is far more impressive to show your skills on, you don't need a tv to use it, and you actually play the damn songs. It does cost a lot more though, and has a learning curve that constantly grows bigger as you learn new skills.
  • Hellhog - August 11, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    I'm actually really interested in this. I sold all my Rock Band 2 stuff to a friend for $55. That included a GHWT wireless guitar, RB1 wireless guitar, and RB2 Drumset (symbol ports didn't work). I just transfered all my DLC and saves back to my HDD from my external HDD. If the price is reasonable, I could get back into it. I'm more interested in Ubisoft's game that has a USB to 1/4" plug as the only periferal. The problem is I play Bass and they only support guitars. Maybe it's time for me to buy myself a Guitar. If only I was rich and didn't have to pay for college...
  • tuomotaivainen - August 11, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    Oh great... Watch as MadCatz forces Harmonix to make future RB titles with as many instruments as conceivably possible JUST so they can milk even more money for their plastic crap!
  • garnsr - August 11, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    I'm a little worried about what'll happen when my RB2 drums conk out. I haven't seen any bundles lately, and I don't know if they're still available solo, or just guitars are.
  • D0CCON - August 11, 2011 12:16 a.m.

    @JornnyRamone I miss the World Tour mode too. RB2 will always be my favorite music game ever (it had the best set list of any music game imo, assuming you exclude DLC and the like).
  • SonicX_89 - August 10, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    @JornnyRamone As much as I enjoyed playing RB2, I couldn't stand the World Tour mode. Playing through the first time was fine, but trying to play it again after broken discs and lost saves frustrated me. I was glad that RB3 featured a new take on World Tour.
  • JornnyRamone - August 10, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    I know a lot of people are happy to play Quickplay all the time in music games, but I was always a massive fan of RB2's World Tour mode. The career in RB3 was short and although featured great ideas, it didn't last long at all. I'd love to see it added in, even as dlc, but RB2 will remain my favourite of all music games, despite only using RB3 nowadays because of the new dlc set up. Great article by the way, and a lovely use of band terminology :)
  • Zepaw - August 10, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    I loved Rock Band 2 and play it now and then but could never quite get into RB3. There has been a relative lull in music games so many this will make a bit of a sales rebound.

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