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"Rock Band Network" to Sell User Tunes as Playable Songs for Game

July 17, 2009 1:47 PM ET

Music video games like Rock Band have brought attention to hundreds of songs and introduce older bands to a new generation, and now the title may help unknowns and up and comers crack the bigtime: Today Harmonix and MTV Games announced the creation of the Rock Band Network, a place where any aspiring songwriter can attempt to turn his or her own songs into gameplay files to be sold as playable tracks.

The Rock Band Network will launch in August and include instructions for how exactly songwriters can turn their tunes into game songs. Songs must first undergo play-testing at Creators.RockBand.com, a Website available to those who become premium members of Microsoft's XNA Creators Club Online at a cost of $49.99 for four months or $99.99 for a year. When a track gets the go ahead, it will be sold at the Rock Band Network Store exclusively for Xbox 360 for a period of 30 days starting in the fall. A selection of approved tracks will later be sold for PlayStation 3 and Wii. Harmonix and MTV promise artists whose tunes make the cut will be compensated: rockers will be able to price individual tracks according to multiple pricing tiers, and they'll get paid royalties accordingly.

"Our goal with Rock Band has always been to go beyond making music games and create a true music platform," said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix, in a statement.

Fall 2009 promises to be a busy time in the world of music video games. Rock Band's Beatles game is due September 9th, the same day the Fab Four's remastered catalog hits stores. Competitor Guitar Hero 5 will be released on September 1st.

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