Blame licensing issues for the lack of Rock Band 4 on PC

3 min read


I WANNA ROCK! Well this year, you most certainly can rock all night and party every day as the interactive music game scene appears to be making a comeback. On the one hand, you’ve got Activision’s Guitar Hero Live. On the other hand, you’ve got Harmonix resurrecting their Rock Band brand for a fourth outing on consoles. But not on PC. And it’s not because of piracy that there’ll be no Rock Band 4 on PC. It’s because of licensing issues.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Harmonix explained the tricky situation of bringing the game to PC, and how piracy on that platform wasn’t a “concern”:

We’re not concerned about software piracy on PC. We have and will release games for PC. In fact, last year we released A City Sleeps for PC, Mac, and Linux. The security in question is related to licensed music in the game. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have robust functionality in that area. It’s added security that’s handled by the platform holders. In the case of more open platforms like PC, we’re responsible for that.

It’s something we can build. It’s not off the table for the future, however we’re first focusing on delivering Rock Band 4 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this holiday.

Harmonix did say that if there was a potential future market for the game on PC, then they’d “be crazy to ignore it.” It’s kind of a pity for PC gamers then. On the one hand, I don’t see that platform synching up demographics with the kind of audience that would play such games, audiences who’d prefer it to be easier on console than PC. On the other hand, playing Frets on Fire with a laptop is starting to get pretty damn difficult.

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Last Updated: June 5, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

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