2007 – Rock Band
Behind The Music: The first game to combine all aspects of the virtual music-making experience (singing, pounding drums, playing guitar or plucking bass) was also the initial offering to deliver peripherals for all (including microphone, plastic drum set and faux axe) in one kit. In total, over 100 million digital songs have been downloaded for the Rock Band family of games, with more than 2700 tracks from 900 artists including Metallica, The Ramones and Fleetwood Mac available across all retail and downloadable installments.
Why It Rocks: Providing the now-defunct MTV Games a then-marquee entrée into the gaming universe, it also laid the foundations for groundbreaking tributes (The Beatles: Rock Band), cutting-edge online innovations (Rock Band Network) and future motion-controlled games (Dance Central) to come.
Did You Know… The runaway success of Rock Band is obviously the downloadable content store, which, at its peak, was estimated to generate one million song downloads every nine days. An example of how popular it is can be seen in Motley Crüe’s Saints of Los Angeles – released as a single simultaneously on both the Rock Band Store and iTunes, first week sales were 34,000 higher in Rock Band’s favor. According to Harmonix, nearly 5 million people have downloaded songs from the Rock Band catalogue, and more than a million players still sign in each month to play the game and purchase new music.