Rock Band Network unveiled

Artists and labels to pump new tunes into gameplay

Harmonix has revealed plans for something called the Rock Band Network, which the dev dubs as an initiative that lets artists and record labels to put recordings into gameplay files and sell them as playable tracks.

It looks like Rock Band Network will favour 360 to begin with, as users will need to be members of Microsoft's XNA Creators Club Online. "Stand out tracks will follow" on the PS3 and Wii, according to the PR, but "all songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days."

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"From late July to late August, a closed beta group will be testing RBN. After August will allow the public to submit and create songs. Later this year the store will open, and anyone will be able to purchase songs that have been approved," reads an FAQ on the site.

Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix, explained, "Our goal with Rock Band has always been to go beyond making music games and create a true music platform. With the Rock Band Network, we've evolved the platform to its next logical step, giving players access to an incredible amount of new music by putting the professional tools we use in the hands of the artists themselves."

According to Harmonix, "Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where millions of Rock Band fans will be able to demo samples of the songs for free before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days.

"Artists featured in the store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and will be compensated via a simple payment system that provides automated accounting and regular royalty payments."