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Rock Band to move closer to "real musicianship"

But it'll be challenging to ensure the series remains accessible, says dev

The co-founder of Harmonix says Rock Band's aim is to "bridge the gap between simulated musicianship and real musicianship" over the coming years, although he acknowledges it will be a challenge to keep the series accessible.

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Some people, musicians included, say that players of games like Rock Band are just talentless strummers and wannabes, while research indicates that gamers learn and develop a lot of the skills required to master real instruments when playing such titles.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, the chances are that the difficulty of games in the Rock Band series is going to increase over time as Harmonix continues to try to close the gap between virtual music making and the real thing.

"Authenticity of the musical experience was one of the key design goals in Rock Band, and I do think that during the coming years we will continue to try to bridge the gap between simulated musicianship and real musicianship," Rigopulos told The New York Times.

"That said, the path there is not obvious: As the interactivity moves closer to real instrumental performance, the complexity/difficulty explodes rapidly. The challenge is to move along this axis in sufficiently tiny increments, so that the experience remains accessible and compelling for many millions of people. It's a hard, hard problem. But that's part of what makes it fun to work on."

We're expecting a music creator and more instruments, like keyboards, in future Rock Band games, but we won't be getting them this year as Harmonix says it will be taking its time before releasing Rock Band 3, and that it's focusing on the Beatles music game for the time being.

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