The Rock Band series went dark in April 2013, when Don McLean’s “American Pie” was released as a farewell track. Fans continued to play the music game at parties and with friends and families, but it looked like we’d seen the last of it. In January 2015, Harmonix released new DLC songs, seemingly out of nowhere. Additional songs, coupled with a recent survey, provided strong hints that something was brewing for the series. Today, Harmonix made it official and announced Rock Band 4 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is coming in 2015.
“There was a period of fairly deep introspection, where we felt like the time was right, but we really wanted to make sure that we had a creative vision that we could rally around, that we felt would be sort of worth doing this again,” project manager Daniel Sussman told me in a pre-announcement interview. “From a creative standpoint, we didn’t just want to port Rock Band 3; that would not be the most interesting thing for us to do, as a bunch of creative developer people, but also just in terms of bringing this thing back. We felt like it needed to innovate in a couple of key ways that would change the conversation around what a music game could be.”