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Monday, April 23, 2012

Ten Music Game DLC Releases That Stirred Up Controversy

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 6:22 AM

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5. Hautewerk Pack - April 21, 2009 [Rock Band]

With seven songs made available from Styx and REO Speedwagon, the week of April 21, 2009, wasn't half-bad for classic rock fans. But that week also featured a three-pack from an incredibly obscure band called Hautewerk, which prompted plenty of confusion in the Rock Band community.

Nowadays, downloadable content from underground bands usually migrate to the Rock Band Network. But with a request list the size of the Great Wall of China, plenty of fans were wondering why official DLC was going to such an unknown group.

4. Moving Pictures by Rush - August 28, 2008 [Rock Band]

Rush is one of those bands that possesses an insanely devoted following within the Rock Band community. So there was much jubilation when it was revealed that Harmonix would be releasing one of the Canadian group's most acclaimed albums in 2008. But technical glitches delayed the release for a few weeks, causing some passionate Rush fans to get angsty.

Rather than risk snapping an unbroken streak of downloadable content offerings, Harmonix instead released a three-pack from a relatively unknown group called Locksley.

The company averted a full-scale mutiny when it released Moving Pictures about a month later.

Harmonix also surprised and delighted Rush fans late last year when it released the entire 21-minute version of "2112" for Rock Band 3, a song that will probably cause arthritis when it gets a spin on the upcoming Rock Band Blitz.

3. SpongeBob SqaurePants packs [Rock Band]

Harmonix was previously owned by Viacom, the same company that owns MTV and Nickelodeon. And that often resulted in some strange cross-promotions, such as releasing two different packs from the SpongeBob SquarePants television show.

To be sure, these songs were discounted - and not that bad. But like Hautewerk, many Rock Band enthusiasts were a bit perplexed that they were getting oodles of SpongeBob but not moar more Muse or Radiohead. Now that Harmonix is effectively independent again, it's highly unlikely that SpongeBob songs will come back to rhythm gaming.

2. Miley Cyrus Pack - June 22, 2010 [Rock Band]

On the subject of awkward cross-promotion, there was plenty of griping back in 2010 about the release of a Miley Cyrus pack. Since the news of this DLC release broke early on MTV's web site, it's a fair guess that this pack's existence owes itself to Harmonix's former status with Viacom.

Of course, the ire over Miley DLC underscores a general abhorrence among music gamers to pop songs. But it was also kind of a bummer that the pack didn't include "Party in the U.S.A."

1. Nickelback Pack - June 29, 2010 [Rock Band]

Days after Cyrus got Rock Band fans all hot-and-bothered, Harmonix dropped the bomb that it was releasing a Nickelback six-pack. Perhaps anticipating the impending griping session, Harmonix spokesman Aaron Trites wrote in the official announcement "I think that says it all right there."

And of course, there was plenty of anger over the Canadian band's entry in the Rock Band downloadable universe. The great RockBandAide had a post at the time showcasing the reaction to the news on Twitter. People were not happy Nickelback was coming to Rock Band.

Yet, one of the beautiful things about music game DLC is that it's optional. Harmonix and Activision aren't holding a gun to anybody's head forcing them to pick up seminal hits like "Photograph" or "Burn it to the Ground."

And clearly, people bought songs from the first pack. Why? Because Harmonix released a second Nickelback pack last year. This perhaps shows that one person's controversial DLC week is another person's best week ever. Either that or Chad Kroeger downloaded the first pack 10 million times.

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