Why Rock Band 3’s lead designer left – and you shouldn’t care

At least, not until Rock Band 4 rolls around

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Like a girlfriendwho lets you pay for concert tickets but then runs off with the lead singer, Rock Band 3 Lead Designer Dan Teasdale has officially left the game%26rsquo;s developer, Harmonix. Teasdaledeparted Harmonix for the %26ldquo;holy grail%26rdquo; of designer positions over at Twisted Pixel Games.

Teasdale stated over twitter that even though Rock Band 3 is not ready to ship, it is %26ldquo;design complete%26rdquo;. As to why he was leaving, Teasdale sounded a bit like a stadium-filling musician lamenting the smaller, more intimate days of playing in bars. He cited a need for %26ldquo;the ability to drive the vision and direction of a game, while maintaining a solid hands-on%26rdquo;.

We actually understand, and even respect that stance. Being the lead on a massive team that works only on high-profile titles can make it difficult to be %26ldquo;hands-on%26rdquo;. And it%26rsquo;s not like he%26rsquo;s going to work on the rival Guitar Hero franchise or some other equally huge competitor. He'smoving on to very different pastures - the tiny-but-awesomeindie developerTwisted Pixel Games, creator of 'Splosion Man and The Maw, which isbringing Teasdale onboard to work on %26ldquo;a ridiculously cool new project%26rdquo;.

With the departure of Teasdale came the sudden leave of another Harmonix developer, Rob Weychert. Now that the team is a big fat minus two on the developer front, does this spell disaster for the franchise?

No. Rock Band 3 will be released to the same success as it was ever going to get. The design work, Teasdale%26rsquo;s area of focus, is done. Rock Band 3 is a go. And he is still only one of a very large team. There are only two concerns fans should even consider going forward.

First is, %26ldquo;was Dan telling the truth?%26rdquo; Obviously, Rock Band 4 is practically a given, so he%26rsquo;s not deserting a sinking ship. Was there anything else behind the abandonment? The second: "What is the ridiculously cool new project Twisted Pixel is working on?"

Jul 02, 2010


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