Rock Band songs disappearing from DLC store

The sad news keeps coming for fans of Rock Band – the company was hit by a website attack over the weekend, and now we’re learning that a number of “older legacy DLC songs” will start disappearing from the game’s online store.

[img_big]center,32,2010-06-25/rockband_04.JPG,Rock Band[/img_big]

The situation is not exclusive to Rock Band, but the franchise will be hit particularly hard by the passing of time. Simply put, when Harmonix licensed an assortment of songs to be used in Rock Band, there was a term limit placed on how long the content could be sold. As it’s now been more than five years since the release of the game’s first batch of DLC, some of those licenses are starting to run out.

We’re reassured that the Harmonix Music Team has been “hard at work” trying to extend the licenses, but – inevitably – there are some which will not be offered for new purchases.

The team themselves have taken the time to explain exactly “What does this mean for you, Jane and John Q Rock Band?:

  • If you’ve already bought these tracks, nothing changes. Tracks that you’ve purchased/downloaded are yours. Relicensing should not affect content already in your library.
  • Select legacy tracks, primarily from the earliest DLC releases, may no longer be offered for new purchase in the Rock Band Store. Again, if you’ve already purchased these tracks you should be entirely unaffected.
  • If for any reason you need to redownload this content (i.e. in cases of console transfer, hard drive space management, etc.) you should be able to do so even if that content is no longer available for new purchasers in the store.

(The use of the word “should” is a little concerning, but it’s a nice way of covering the company just in case a musician gets narky.)

We’ll post as more information becomes available, with relicensing updates likely coming in on a quarterly basis. We’re hard at work to minimize the impact on the RB catalog and RB community, securing extensions for an overwhelming majority of content and, most importantly, making it a priority to give you advance notice if songs are expiring and have to come down. We’ll do our best to make sure that you have one last chance to buy these legacy catalog tracks!

That last bit is a reference to the fact the first victims of this limited-run license have all-but sunk without a trace, and without any prior warning. The Metallica Pack 01, released on November 20th, 2007. The pack originally contained the tracks Ride The Lightnin, Blackened and And Justice For All, all three have been pulled from the Rock Band store and are in the process of being removed from first party marketplaces. These songs will no longer be available for purchase, but if they’re already in your library, you should be good to go.

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