Sound Off! Should RB/RB2 Legacy DLC Be Discounted?

Yesterday we saw the discounting of select DLC packs on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 for this week, but as a few people have pointed out based on the nature of the way the sale is listed on the Xbox 360, this pricing initially appeared to be permanent. As the listing on the official PlayStation blog noted, the discount is only for this week, so a permanent drop in pricing doesn’t appear to be the case, but it does bring up an interesting discussion point.

We’re closing in fast on having 3,000 songs playable in Rock Band 3, which is a ridiculously absurd amount of music. And, when compared with every other game on the market, this is an even more ridiculous amount of DLC. With an occasional exception, every song is available individually, and most are also available in packs, so when we do reach 3,000 songs, there will be an even larger amount of available DLC (counting singles AND packs). I think @HMXHenry mentioned to me once that there are only a handful of “DLC completionists,” so the rest of us have “holes” in our DLC libraries. Here at RockBandAide, we try to encourage the exploration of older DLC for new players and for those who may have originally missed good songs through our Thursday Throwback feature. But that can only go so far.

We must not also ignore the huge “elephant in the room” fact that Rock Band (and Guitar Hero, obviously) isn’t the runaway cultural phenomenon that it used to be. It was huge when the economy was kicking ass and everyone had disposable income for a room full of plastic instruments, but that time has obviously passed. Most of the casual players have put their instruments in the closet or basement and long forgotten about weekly DLC releases. Only the most die-hard fans still wake up on Friday morning excited about the DLC announcement for next week. And shelling out 2 bucks for a song is a tougher sell than it used to be. When you compare the current Rock Band 3 DLC to older RB/RB2 legacy DLC, you get more bang for your buck now, which makes legacy DLC purchases a much less attractive proposition.

I did some quick research into it, and the ability to change pricing on existing DLC doesn’t appear to be a decision that typically rests in the hands of game developers, but rather in the hands of the respective consoles’ online stores. And based on other forms of digital music distribution, such as iTunes, this is the norm. For the most part, digital music pricing remains constant, regardless of the time since the music was originally released.

In a perfect world, DLC pricing would be something that Harmonix could change, but alas, this is not a perfect world. Ultimately it comes down to whether the discount in DLC would drive a larger volume of sales than the current DLC pricing structure, and as noted above, this decision rests in the hands of Xbox, Sony, and Nintendo. But if the price for RB/RB2 DLC songs dropped down to $.99, would you be picking up a large volume of tracks? Do you think it would be a good idea to discount existing Rock Band and Rock Band 2 DLC? Or would you feel “punished” for buying DLC years ago that others would now be able to get on the cheap?

Vote below, and let your voice be heard in the comments!

 

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125 Responses to “Sound Off! Should RB/RB2 Legacy DLC Be Discounted?”

  • Kirksplosion says:

    “Yes! I would pull the trigger on a lot of songs I have always been on the fence about!” is exactly how I feel about it.

    Once the RB3 content starting coming, I still had a list of about 30 legacy songs that I wanted to pick up. And when they started selling older DLC songs with the added RB3 upgrades, I stopped buying legacy tracks altogether, so I wouldn’t have to rebuy any tracks in case they got the upgrade. Dropping the price of those legacy tracks by 50% would make me much less apprehensive about picking them up.

    So, in a word – yes. I would buy legacy tracks if they were discounted.

    LunaticSoul Reply:

    After RB3 release, I decided to buy only DLC with Keys and Harmonies support, RBN1 songs without Pro Drums were unnacceptable etc.. Then I came up buying a LOT of legacy content in the last months, but I have also bought almost anything I liked that was after-RB3 DLC. In a ratio, I’d say 2:1. There are a lot of songs I’d like to buy, but now with the release of RBN2 I won’t end up buying them so soon. Soooo, yep, discount on (even some, once every month..) legacy DLC would be the most awesome thing ever.

  • kitlerc says:

    I think there should at least be a permanent discount on all cover versions of songs, especially those that have Original versions of as well.

    On a side note, I think they should drop the prices of old DLC for games that aren’t supported any longer such as GH2 and GH3.

    kitlerc Reply:

    Also, dropping the price of songs the legacy versions of songs that have RB3 upgrades would be good as well.

    David Reply:

    I don’t know much about licensing, but the covers probably should have been half price in the first place.

  • When is a discount ever bad? I’m one of the “die hards” you mention that still pays attention to the weekly releases and absolutely love that RB hasn’t given up even when they could. It really tells me they care about their products and their players. When GH shut down I was worried all my investment in RB would be more or less wasted and I’m happy to see that’s not the case.

    There are still TONS of songs I’d love to see in RB that I hope one day might get there. Moving older catalog items or even less popular songs to a discounted plan certainly can’t hurt gamers.

  • SFenton says:

    While the discount is a discussion I’ll stay out of, I wouldn’t feel cheated at all if I bought Boston back when it came out and it’s only $.99 now. It’s how real economics works- things depreciate in value over time. I don’t feel cheated for buying Rock Band 3 for $60 and it’s only $20 now. You get more enjoyment time out of it when you buy it at launch, or when it’s full-price; the people who wait for discounts have to wait for a very long time before it happens.

    Dustinator Reply:

    THIS. And for the record, I have a backlog of 50+ legacysongs I would like to buy but I’m on the fence about purchasing for full price. If they dropped to $1 each, there goes over $50 to HMX

    Dr Ishmael Reply:

    THIS, to both of you. I was thinking of the exact same argument about depreciation. And Pre-RB3 DLC *inherently* has less value because it lacks harmony and keyboard parts, which I think was mentioned briefly in the OP.

  • PikminGuts92 says:

    All of the disc RB games have gone down in price over time. Why can’t downloadable content work the same way?

    RockBandAide Reply:

    You can’t argue with the logic of this statement.

    Paul Reply:

    Yes you can. Digital content doesn’t have manufacturing or shipping costs and doesn’t have to compete for shelf space. When there are no expenses like those involved and you’re not trying to sell off an inventory, why SHOULD you cut the price?

    RockBandAide Reply:

    - To spur sales.
    - To increase product visibility.
    - To increase customer retention.
    - To enhance multiplayer functionality.

    Need anymore?

    T Reply:

    Can HMX lower DLC prices and still turn a profit? Or will the licensing agreements tied to the content lead to them simply losing their share so the artists get what they signed on for?

    It’s easy to argue in favor of a permanent discount because you’re coming from the side of “cheaper is better”. But you have to consider other ramifications of this financially for HMX.

    Paul Reply:

    But those are all optional reasons to lower the price. If they’ve made their initial investment back (and given how popular RB and RB2 were, they probably have for most of that DLC by now), the DLC can sit at $2 a song forever and it won’t matter.

    Physical product HAS to be moved, or stored at a cost – hence, clearance sales when stores decide not to carry the game more, and universal price cuts when there are still copies that have to be moved.

    T may have a point too – without knowing the licensing agreements, Hamonix may not be able to do permanent price drops, either because they’d stop making any profit on the sales.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    T’s point regarding licensing agreements with variable and fixed commissions/payments is a very good one that for the sake of the argument I’ve left out.

    In real life, there is a possibility that a discount of DLC would make Harmonix selling DLC at a loss, which I wouldn’t expect them to do.

  • Conriocht13 says:

    I think it would be cool if DLC more than a year old (or maybe two) were discounted. Sure, some might feel “cheated” for spending full price for a song/pack, but that kind of stuff happens with physical games too; how many times have you bought a brand new game at launch for $60, only to have it go on sale the next week for $45? It hurts, but you just have to look at it as that extra money you spent was to support the developer. And that’s the same here.

    Besides, we’re talking about digital content, where there isn’t really a cost involved in “making” more copies of older DLC to sell; if slashing the price results in 100 more people buying that song that otherwise wouldn’t have, it’s pure gain for HMX and the Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo. So yes, older DLC should be discounted.

    bonet Reply:

    This is an awesome idea. Have DLC that is more than 2 years old discounted. So every week when the new DLC gets announced, you also get the announcement of the tracks that were reduced in price. That puts the older tracks back in the public eye and gives them a little press. That sounds like it would increase sales. no?

  • Risser says:

    A little off topic, but I’d love to see them revisit some of the older stuff, not just for Pro-instruments, but to add in keyboards. I’d pay another 99c to get the keyboards for the Boston or Duran Duran downloads. Nowadays I feel silly working out the RB2 keyboard parts on my guitar.

    Peter

    FoxForever Reply:

    Same. Artists heavy with keys such as Boston, Duran Duran, and some like Kansas. I’d also like some where keyboard is a background sound to be updated. Like No Doubt for example.

  • MarioDaPlatypus says:

    There’s some older songs that I have been wanting to get for a while but haven’t gotten around to it because I would always rather buy the newer songs with keys and harmonies for the same price, but I would definitely get them sooner if they weren’t still the same price as brand new songs.

  • RedIon1992 says:

    I would like to see some older songs get permanently discounted, especially those which have been superseded by newer versions.

    My theory on the best way to price RB3 versions was this: price the RB3 versions at $1, but they require the legacy version to be owned. However, you also drop the legacy version’s price to $1, so that the total cost is still $2 for new purchases, but those who’ve already owned the song don’t have to pay full price, and can consider the extra dollar the cost for having the song earlier.

    It would also help increase the fanbase of the DLC method that Harmonix is pushing, by saying “Here, there’s a heap of songs that work for 4/5 of the instruments in the game, AND they’re at a price which is cheap enough to buy on impulse!”

  • Ty says:

    I voted no because, I buy the DLC I want each Tuesday and I have passed on the stuff I don’t want. Discounting it won’t make me want it. But it’s very fair if someone waits it out and is able to get a discount. I don’t have that patience. The only thing that will get me to buy the legacy that I don’t have is if pro-guitar is added. I try to buy every pro upgrade to encourage more to be released.

  • RedIon1992 says:

    Also, your link to the PS blog claiming that this is a one-week sale is off – it’s not posted on the US blog (which is what the link is to), only on the EU blog. It’s 99% only one week everywhere though.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Fixed. Thanks!

  • flame95 says:

    Essentially there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be discounted, because although there is the argument that ‘we would have been happy paying that 2 years ago’, things do go down in price: very few people would pay £30,000 for a 15 year old car, regardless of the fact the original owner probably payed around that for it 15 years ago. It’s the way things work, and so really all legacy DLC (and maybe newer DLC with fewer playable parts) should be discounted.

  • Dorkmaster Flek says:

    There was no option for “I already have all the legacy DLC I want, but yes it should be discounted.” :) Physical media decreases in price over time. Why not DLC? The fact that I paid full price for it is mitigated by the fact that I’ve been playing it for months or years in some cases. You wait to pick something up, you get to pay less. That’s always how it works with technology.

  • Stéfan says:

    There are many songs I would buy if they were discounted. 200 MS points seems a bit expensive for most songs, when compared to what you can buy on Xbox Live with the same amount of MS Points. You can have full games of great quality for the price of just 4 or 5 songs. In terms of “what amount of gaming pleasure you get for what you pay”, this doesn’t make sense, in my opinion.

    I would certainly buy much more songs if they were cheapers. On several occasions, I thought “Hey, I like this band/song, I’d love to play this track pack, but is the amount really worth it considered the number of times I will most likely play the songs ?”. And the reply was often : “No.”
    Unless you’re a hardcore RB player, and except for a handful of your all time favorite songs, you won’t be playing through the same song more than 5 times (I guess Harmonix has some stats about this, thanks to the online score sharing stuff that’s in the game ; they most likely know how many times a song is played on average, what songs are the most “replayable”, etc.).

    Croq Reply:

    It’s actually 160 MS points for most songs, but I get your point.

  • QuestionMark says:

    Perhaps a model where DLC prices are lowered after a certain period of time, but also gaveling in sales? Metallica songs probably don’t need the bump that a permanent reduction would result in, but maybe songs like deeper Pixies cuts would benefit.

    That said $1 may not be the only possible price point. Perhaps $1.50 or $1.25 would be a reasonable price point for “legacy classics.”

    T Reply:

    If HMX discounted DLC after X-amount of time, then people would just wait X-amount of time for the price to drop before buying content.

    QuestionMark Reply:

    I think that would be okay, as long as it the release window is long enough to entice people who want them. Say, 2 years or so.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    I think since there’s a finite set of DLC that is, for lack of a better word, “antiquated,” they could justify dropping the price for all RB1/RB2 DLC a little. No reason to drop RB3 DLC anytime soon, though.

    bonet Reply:

    How long has DLC been coming out now? 4 years (no clue)? Make that your window when you start discounting. Whatever came out the week when DLC began is the first DLC to get discounted and every subsequent week sees the next weeks DLC from 4 years ago discounted.

    T Reply:

    “Antiquated” content would be anything that has an RB3 version. Other than that…what is the basis? Simply age?

    That makes sense to long time RB users, but how does that make any sense when you consider that DLC doesn’t really HAVE a shelf life when the a game that supports it just came out within the past year?

    donk Reply:

    Same thing for physical media too, right? I mean, there’s no such thing as DVDs that sell tons in their first week, when they cost the most. Everyone just waits until they get discounted to get them. Yep, sounds right.

    QuestionMark Reply:

    I wish I remembered what my iPhone autocorrected to “gaveling.”

  • dc32 says:

    I would definitely pick up older stuff I passed on if it went down to a dollar. And I think that would help lessen the blow if they all of a sudden come out with RB3 versions, because that’s really what’s holding me back from picking up anything older now that I was on the fence for. For instance, I would love to pick up The Cars, but every time I hear their songs I hear keys and harmonies in them, they would be so perfect for RB3 versions.

  • FoxForever says:

    Oh my gosh! I read the title as “discontinued”

    Tim the Enchanter Reply:

    Ha, I did too. I read the whole article not understanding the direction it was going and what it had to do with discontinuing legacy DLC. Discounting DLC is way better than discontinuing it.

    Nimmy Reply:

    Me too ! I was afraid of what this post would be about

    Toothball Reply:

    Yeah I did that as well. Managed to stay calm until I got to the article though.

  • Troggy says:

    I’m one of the “completionists” mentioned in this article, and I wish they would discount legacy DLC just so that playing with random bands won’t result in 90% of my library being greyed out! Although, to be fair, I would like to see some brand loyalty for those of us that have shelled out mucho dinero over the past few years a week at a time to keep our libraries going strong :-/

    T Reply:

    HMX has rewarded your loyalty by continuing to produce a wide variety of content every single week for going on 5 years. And they have offered discounts at various times in the run of the franchise.

    A permanent discount doesn’t “reward” the long time RB players, as they’ll already have the content. In fact, it “rewards” those who are just starting out w/ the franchise, or just waited until now to start buying content.

    Seriously. People need to learn what “rewarding loyalty” actually means.

    Troggy Reply:

    Why on earth is this a reply to my post? Did I ask for a reward?

    And yes, permanent discounts would reward those of us who do have all DLC as I pointed out in my post when I mentioned that my library won’t be 90% greyed out.

    Seriously. People need to learn what “reading before flaming” actually means.

    T Reply:

    “Did I ask for a reward?”

    Yes you did:

    “I would like to see some brand loyalty for those of us that have shelled out mucho dinero…”

    Did I ever say you were discussing a physical reward? If you’re going to rip on somebody’s reading skills…make sure yours are up to par as well.

    Toad3000 Reply:

    Jeez…awfully snide for someone who can’t even figure out how long the Rock Band franchise has been in existence…

  • Jason2087 says:

    I buy everything I want day 1 when it’s released and have since Nov 20th of 2007. I’ve never had a problem paying 1.99 for a song and if songs were Reduced I wouldn’t buy anything more, because like I said, everything I want, I have.

  • SMOKEZERO says:

    I think the interest in the game would remain high if DLC had a week 1 discount. Shouldn’t the die yards be rewarded for their loyalty in some fashion?

    T Reply:

    Why would a week 1 discount reward diehard RB supports? The best chance DLC has to sell is within it’s first few weeks, when it’s still fresh and people are aware of it.

    After that (especially in a game like RB) it starts to blend into the sea of other content as more and more piles on top of it.

    The reason new CDs/movies/games offer discounts on Day 1 is because STORES are competing to get your purchase. This is not the case with DLC, as your only options are buy it through the marketplace or don’t.

  • Brownd says:

    Wow, I almost thought the title said “DISCONTINUED”

    Epsilon Reply:

    Yeah, it’s kind of funny. On top of how similar the two words are, I think one of the reasons a lot of people seemed to think that was because there was recently a prominent post proclaiming that the Squier is discontinuted. Kind of an amusing coincidence.

  • kyle says:

    I thought you said should it be discontinued so I said to myself it already has. lol

  • Nathan Major says:

    Yeah, they should probably discount it.
    Then if they re-released songs people would probably be less pissed off, too, since they only threw down $1 or something for the original version.
    I don’t buy legacy DLC very often because I got most of all I wanted, but if they were to drop it all by 50% I’d probably go snag a few more packs I held out on (the rest of the NiN songs, some Rise Against, etc.).

  • T says:

    I would say “No” for two big reasons.

    1) HMX likely wouldn’t be able to handle the loss of revenue.
    2) There’s likely many license holders who wouldn’t agree to that price discount.

    I think a permanent discount is out of the question regardless of how old the content is. But I could handle HMX doing more regular DLC discounts that fit within some theme (new albums, concert tours, new DLC releases).

    Of course the popular answer will be “Yes” because people hate spending money. But I think in the long run it’s totally unrealistic to expect HMX to permanently cut prices on such a massive collection of content.

    T Reply:

    That said, I could forsee HMX working with license holders to start discounting prices on content that has since seen “RB3 Versions” released. Stuff like Queen, Bon Jovi, etc.

    Croq Reply:

    I agree with your initial post and reasoning. I was about to post something similar when I read yours. Get out of my head! :)

    smacd Reply:

    In response to your reasons

    1) Older songs probably don’t have as many sales. When you lower the price on something thats been around for awhile, you encourage more people to purchase who would not have otherwise, as most people willing to pay the original price point already have it. So its more likely to INCREASE their revenue, rather than decrease (this is Business 101 stuff).

    2)This is a pretty complex area, but as we’ve seen before with sales on RB DLC, its not impossible for prices to change, even by as much as a 75% discount. The RIAA is not as powerful as you and they seem to think they are. Further, what is the cut that the label/band/license-holder getting? Its definitely not 100%, as some of the cost must be going to the development cost for Harmonix. And judging by the cost of music files on iTunes, I’d imagine that if they take the some dollar-wise cut, its less than 50% of the cost for most songs. There is nothing stopping Harmonix from cutting a porting of their take in order to spur more sales and ultimately INCREASE the net profit.

    T Reply:

    You’re assuming that every license holder signs the same agreement. Some may be paid based on overall sales, others may get a set amount of money upfront.

    It’s not uncommon in the entertainment industry.

    smacd Reply:

    I’m assuming that Harmonix wants to make a profit or at least be able to recoup the cost of having someone chart the songs, which implies that they would have some cut of the $2. If they didn’t, then what is the value of them licensing the song in the first place?

    Further, regardless of whether the license holder is paid up front, by sales, or whatever other method- unless they specifically said “don’t ever discount our tracks”, it really is irrelevant to the final price, or to any discount. In fact, other than the buffoons in the RIAA, most savvy businessmen understand that once a product has been around awhile, a price cut will boost sales and drive more profits- Just like how people may decide to go buy a game when it hits “the bargain bins” for $20 rather than fork out $60 day one.

    Your logic is inherently flawed, if you are seriously suggesting that lowering the price on legacy DLC for Rock Band will do anything but benefit everyone involved.

    Joe Shredder Reply:

    As mentioned by OP, I’m not sure that an across the board discount would work due to financial & licensing reasons.

    I do like the idea of weekly discounts, though. Pick a selection of about six older tracks each week and advertize them as a throwback special – half off both individual songs and track packs. That would get some publicity going and wouldn’t hurt the overall profit margin too much. That would also provide a work-around for publishers who don’t want to offer any discount at all.

    donk Reply:

    You just hate everyone who likes Rock Band, don’t you? You’re the irreverent troll that strides through a community and picks off every popular ideal prevalent in its userbase. You don’t believe 1% of the shit you spur and people notice it quite often. Do you think you actually care about Harmonix? Do you think you actually know anything about business or ethics?

    Discounted DLC could do nothing BUT increase revenue for HMX AND please the hard core userbase as well as the more casual players.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Easy on the insults, sir. You can disagree, but do it respectfully.

  • EduardoPerez says:

    Personal, I do see myself as a die hard fan since I do wake every Friday to check out the new dlc, I have over 800 songs in my rock band library, and I have all the instruments including the mustang. After pulling in so much money I really won’t feel that cheat if they dropped the price. Because rock band is awesome, I’ll take it anyway I can get it. I’ve never care about payIng extra for pro guitar or rb3 versions because in the end it’s still fun and worth your money. All this would do is make me extremely happy so I can get more songs. Being cheated wouldn’t be something I’d worry about

  • Jason R. says:

    I have somewhat mixed feelings on this and not necessarily because I’ve purchased hundreds of songs over the last few years at basically full price [I should note that I snagged about 60 songs from the unbelievable Pepsi promotion in 2009. Man, that made me really cut back on soda].

    I really don’t purchase legacy DLC anymore unless it’s a RBN track I really like. So discounting that could entice me to change my mind. On the other hand, the fact that the tracks won’t get keyboards or harmonies is still pretty big in my mind.

    I will say that since I can only put $5.00 in to my PS3 at a time, discounting tracks to $1 would probably convince me to get another track I probably wouldn’t have purchased.

  • T says:

    There are many reasons to oppose a permanent price cut on old DLC.

    “It’s not fair to me” is not one of them.

  • Chico76 says:

    $2 per song never seemed unreasonable to me, so I’ve always bought the songs I wanted at the time they were released (or soon after). I peruse the RBN every week to see if there’s anything I’d want (so far, I’ve only downloaded 9 RBN songs). So, even at $1 for a lot of those songs, I still don’t pull the trigger…

    … because the price is not the sole determining factor for me. I’m not sure I have much more disposable income than anyone else, but for me, RB is part of my larger hobby – video gaming. I’m willing to spend money on my hobby, as I imagine a lot of people are (even in hard economic times, people still tend to do the 1 or 2 things they love the most).

    The way to sell older DLC isn’t so much a price reduction as it is ADVERTISE ROCK BAND. All this talk of “the music genre is in decline” is, to me, a total falsehood. You can ALWAYS sell video games to gamers. You can ALWAYS sell music to music lovers. So the way to get people in the door that aren’t already playing is to GET THE WORD OUT.

    I NEVER see RB commercials on TV or hear them on the radio. I know it costs money to advertise, but really guys, come on… NO advertising at all? I would challenge Harmonix to get demo setups going at regular retail stores and hire interns to man them. If people see Rock Band out in the real world, they’re more likely to give it a shot. But right now, it’s all hidden away on shelves and in gaming stores.

    It’s fashionable to only do some big market advertising when a product is brand new. But with a property like RB, having nearly 3000 songs and many titles to choose from, the ad campaign really needs to be perpetual.

    If any price reduction is necessary, it’s on entry (ie. instruments) not on maintenance (ie. DLC). All those RB bundles collecting dust would obviously do better in someone’s home… so get those things sold at $50 a pop or whatever it takes to get it in the door.

    Milesrose Reply:

    This is a awesome post :D

    DiaborosYuzuha Reply:

    While not a massive ad campaign, VH1 and VH1 Classic for a good while had weekly commercials for most DLC releases since TB:RB (which they had special commercials for as well. I’ve also seen several times listings of DLC at F.Y.E. and Hot Topic, usually because a corresponding release/re-release was on sale in-store.

  • redstarneon says:

    Since when is 3,000 songs a ridiculous amount of music?

    iTunes has over 20 million songs and there are still a lot of very popular unavailable songs.

    citric_bullets Reply:

    In video game terms it’s pretty astounding though. That’s hours upon hours of game content, all with high replay value.

    Toothball Reply:

    Music had a bit of a head start there. I’m sure the Rock Band store will catch up eventually.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Do me a favor. Buy ALL of the DLC, put it all in one playlist, play that playlist, and let me know how your bank account looks and how your wrist/foot/voice feels. Would the be a ridiculous thing to do? Signs point to yes.

    Thanks.

    redstarneon Reply:

    The ridiculous amount statement can also mean that HMX should now stop releasing new DLC since there is now more than enough than can be realistically played or purchased.

    Just trying to say that there’s still a lot of people’s favorite unavailable music that they could still enjoy playing.

    Thanks.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    3,000 songs eclipses ANY other gaming franchise’s DLC. Discounting the quantity of DLC they released is a fool’s errand, regardless of what they have/have not released up until this point.

  • Toothball says:

    There have been plenty of cases of DLC being permanently discounted over time. On Xbox you can see it in the ‘Recently Reduced’ panel on the Marketplace row. Can’t see why this wouldn’t work for music DLC too. I guess the only down side would be the amount of work it would take to apply discounts to several thousand DLC items on the various platforms, but I’m sure it’d be time well spent.

  • fcmlefty says:

    I have a back log of songs I’ve always been on the fence about. They’d get purchased faster at $1 of course.

  • IowaRocker says:

    To step completely off subject for a second…. I’m sure there is a way to do it, but can you sort through the DLC catalog by songs you haven’t purchased? The mention of nearly 3k songs in the library made me realize I am no where near a completionist, and I know there are plenty of songs that I may have said I was going to wait to get then forgot completely about them. I would love to be able to just look at the songs I don’t have and pick and choose that way.

    As to the question, I would definitely take advantage of discounted pricing, but in the end I don’t think a dollar difference is going to make a huge impact on what I buy. If I planned on buying a large amount of DLC all at once, that would influence me. Also if there are songs I was on the fence about it may push me over, but since I would probably just get a couple at a time I think I’d do it at regular or discounted price.

    Vampire-Jekyll Reply:

    Set yourself up an account at http://www.dlcquickplay.com. Once you’ve got all the songs you own checked off you can set the filter to display only songs you don’t own.

  • Jerkinator says:

    After spending time on the shelf virtually all other forms of DLC (think of Halo/Call of Duty/ etc. map packs especially) drop in price. Rock Band DLC never has done that. The fact that it IS outdated (no keys/harmonies/pro guitar) you would think it’d make sense to cut the price. Those who haven’t bought songs that came out 2 years ago at the $2 price mark probably never will. But if you cut it in half (or 1/3 even), HMX will see a lot of revenue that otherwise would never have been.

    I have about 900 songs in my RB library, but there are probably a couple hundred more in the backlog that I would be interested in if there was a price cut. I’m just focusing on RB3 DLC now since I have virtually everything I could want at full price. So unless there was a cut, HMX is just leaving their songs to catch dust with me.

  • boomsniper77 says:

    I’ve already got all the DLC, but I want it discounted so my friends can (hopefully) catch up.

  • Anon says:

    None of the above. If they were discounted I’d pounce on a whole bunch of the ones I’m still on the fence about, BUT I don’t think that Harmonix SHOULD discount them. Maybe running more sales than they have in the past would work well, but a permanent discount on older DLC would likely lead to fewer sales of newer DLC (many people don’t care about keys and pro, shockingly), which would cause more problems for Harmonix than a few extra sales of old DLC would solve.

    Anon Reply:

    Addendum: If there was a permanent price drop, making the songs half price seems a little drastic; there isn’t twice as much value in the new features unless you use them more or less everytime you play Rock Band. Something like $1.50 would be more logical, IMHO. IF the price was going to be dropped.

  • Croq says:

    I have about 1350 songs total (at least that’s what it says in RB3). If they want to reduce the prices on some older DLC, that’s fine.

    I will say though that even before the revelation on the PS3 side that it was going to be a temporary reduction, I suspected that already. Sure, they lowered the price and changed the release date on the 360. I think that may have been done as a way to make it not Gold-only while it was on sale. The reason I thought it was temporary too was that the individual track prices, where available, didn’t get reduced.

    Oh well, back to the original thoughts of the post, I chose the 2nd option. I pretty much have everything I want already. Would I be disappointed that the price got reduced now? Not really. Do I wish I had waited? For some stuff, if it had only been out a few months, then maybe, otherwise no, I’ve had a ton of time enjoying playing the songs even at the higher price. And for the majority of my content, I usually buy packs/albums anyway, rarely do I cherry pick, so I get a certain amount of savings there too.

  • RickC says:

    I only started playing Rock Band last year. Thus, there is a lot of Legacy DLC that is from before my time. I bought a bunch of my favorites right off the bat (Maiden, Dream Theater, Rush, The Who, etc.). However, it was not really practical to buy everything I wanted. If a bunch of it was discounted, I would definitely fill in my DLC collection.

    I actually think the best solution to this is via the “Redeem Code” feature. Enter the code from the back of your RB3 booklet and all legacy RB1/RB2 DLC is 1/2 price for you for one week. Not sure if that is technologically feasible, but I think it would split the difference between a permanent price drop for everyone that could hurt HMX’s profits and a temporary price drop to encourage people to buy DLC they might not otherwise buy.

    Plus, it could help market RB3. “Rock Band 3 – only $20, plus a code for thousands of songs at half price”.

    TSarcasm Reply:

    Too bad you missed the Pepsi promo from back in the day. Lotsa free songs to be had back then!

    Jason R. Reply:

    As I mentioned in this thread, that was seriously one of the best contests in history.

  • zero.echelon says:

    I think they should run more sales on old DLC, not price down to $0.99 on ALL songs.
    And ammount of DLC isn’t ridiculous
    There´s a lot of people that owns 2000+ songs and it’s awesome
    Weekly DLC releases are what makes RB fans keep playing, cause every week there’s new songs to play
    That doesn’t mean you should purchase every song and play it in a row…

    GH’s DLC ammount seems to be ridiculous to me
    with just 500+ songs available you’ll get bored of the game, and that’s what happened…

    RockBandAide Reply:

    I apologize. I’m using the word “ridiculous” in the “OMG, the amount of songs is so amazingly high” way, rather than in a negative connotation.

  • Imdaboss says:

    Yes. Most definitely. There are a lot of songs I may have originally passed on, but now I want (I do a lot of Pro Drums) and also have been requested at Rock Band parties. This does mean that if they reduce the price per song they’d also reduce price for the pack, right?

  • Crunk Posby says:

    For me it’s more about clutter and what I actually play. In the old days I’d download stuff just b/c it was cheap, or I was desperate for more songs. Now, I’m EXTRA picky. Lately, I’ve only downloaded songs I really like AND that have pro guitar/bass.

    Whereas in the past, I would buy the entire Who or Motley Crue albums (after which I learned that I couldn’t delete individual songs, and I didn’t enjoy 90 percent of the songs on either of those albums after my first time through) now I’m like: “Yes! Ozzy! Hmm, I’ll get these two songs and forget the rest.”

    So lowering the price wouldn’t get me to buy more, but if it will get other people it probably makes sense.

  • MaximusDM says:

    I feel only content that has RB3 versions of songs should be discounted. Because why would any one pick up the inferior version of a track anymore unless it was for a discount.

  • Epsilon says:

    Well, judging by my behavior last night, I’d say it would not only be a good thing for the players but also for Harmonix/Microsoft/Sony if they started discounting legacy DLC. It’s a very important point that the value you get for your $2 has been significantly enhanced in many (most?) cases, with the potential for Keys/Pro Keys and Harmonies for the same price. So that logic definitely supports the potential of slashing legacy DLC, at least sporadically.

    I already had the first Country Pack and the Alt/Country Pack because they came out before I stopped buying every single song, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed playing those songs even though I’m not at all a fan of country music generally. At full price, I couldn’t quite bring myself to take that gamble on the other packs, but this gave me a perfect excuse to bite…and of course, while I was browsing around, I couldn’t help but pick up a few other songs/packs that I had neglected since RB3 separated the DLC out.

    So, yes, more discounts please. I think they might be pleasantly surprised by how many fence-sitters will suddenly be able to justify the cash on certain songs and packs. I can safely say that I probably never would have bothered buying the Country packs at any price if not for this deal.

  • Jason says:

    They could start with removing the songs that have RB3 versions from the RB3 store entirely. Songs that have keys/harmonies in older DLC should definitely be discounted. The ones that have all the parts that they can offer charted can fairly stay priced at 2 dollars.

    zero.echelon Reply:

    At least they should offer RB3 version of legacy DLC WITH Pro Guitar/Bass Add-on included for 1.99
    It would be great if they start offering Harmonies, Keys and fixed PRO drums to legacy DLC as they offer now PRO Guitar/Bass Add-on >.<

    RockBandAide Reply:

    I see no problem with this, but I think many people (who didn’t get the RB3 versions) would complain that they won’t be able to play online with new people anymore.

  • JBurton says:

    Im pretty sure DLC pricing is set by the publisher. Not only initial, but any permanent price drops. When Microsoft does a Deal of the Week I think they have to pay back however much the DLC costs. I do know for sure that Microsoft isnt into giving DLC out for free though. They were the ones that made Valve release DLC for 7.50 on Left 4 Dead 2.

    I would love to see random DLC discounted by Harmonix every week. Not EVERYTHING, but a couple packs and singles per week.

  • Steadysphere says:

    I would have to protest. It’s all great for those who haven’t invested much in RBDLC, but what about people like me? I have nearly 2000 songs, and I’ve paid whatever price given to me. Not exactly fair to give it to others discounted :/

    TSarcasm Reply:

    Talk about ‘not fair’, you’ve been playing those songs for a lot longer than those of us who haven’t bought them yet! :p

    RockBandAide Reply:

    That is the life cycle of nearly all goods/services. Rock Band 3 is available in the US for $19.99, rather than $59.99, which most people bought it for. Could I have saved $40 by buying it several months later? Sure, but I would have missed out on enjoying the game for that same time frame.

    For example, if you go to a bagel place at the end of the day, all bagels are half off, because the demand is low for old bagels, so the price is adjusted to move the goods. This is Economics 101 stuff.

    You have the same choice. Resist buying DLC that comes out next week, hoping that eventually it will be discounted, but you obviously won’t be able to play that DLC until it is eventually discounted and you purchase it. The question is whether the price difference between regular and discount is worth the wait. That’s no one’s fault. It’s just a matter of the perceived value you place on the product.

    Croq Reply:

    I totally agree with what RBA said above. Taking into account that I bought the Alt-Country pack on 3/1/2009, and between RB2 and RB3, have played those songs innumerable times since, I think it was well worth the higher price and have no problem should they decide to discount it (even if it does turn out to be permanent).

    Am I upset that I paid $8.50 and could have saved THREE whole dollars by waiting 2 years and 3 1/2 months? Not in the least.

    Whizzer Reply:

    It benefits others, and does not work against you. It’s not a rare thought, but it is a selfish one.

    And what if it benefits Harmonix? General consensus is that they could use more money.

    Steadysphere Reply:

    I guess. I suppose I do the same thing with games – i rarely buy full price now, wait until it goes cheaper. Is it fair to those who paid £40 or whatever? I didn’t mean to come off as selfish, in fact something like this could bring popularity back to Rock Band. It’s just, I dunno, maybe I’m just kicking myself at the idea I rushed into buying it all. Not that I regret it =P

  • Schofie9x says:

    Hey guys, what about Rock Band Unplugged?

  • T says:

    I like how I say this wouldn’t be a good idea and immediately people begin jumping down my throat without seeing the whole picture I’m putting together.

    There’s other issues to put together. For example, newcomers to the RB franchise can get overloaded looking at the library and being slammed with over 3000 songs. If you just blanket discount ALL of them, sure you may pick up some more but you’ll still be overwhelemed by the amount of new choices you’ll have.

    That’s why HMX’s approach the past few weeks of selecting various themes of DLC to discount would likely work best in the long run. It gets your attention because content is being discounted on a regular basis, and it gives you a subset of songs to look at, assess, and decide on before making your purchase.

    If you didn’t like the metal songs discounted around the time Ozzy’s pack came out, maybe you’ll like the country songs this week.

    Didn’t like either? It’s likely in a few more weeks we may see some other songs discounted for a limited time.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    After looking at it for awhile, I agree with your thinking. A blanket discount probably wouldn’t maximize new sales, as it would overwhelm new and existing players looking for deals. Bite-size sales like the metal and country themed discounts are a much more “digestible” approach to DLC sales.

  • NV_Mathemagician says:

    I vote for lowering prices, but then, I’m a greedy bastard.

  • Joe Cam says:

    I’ll say most of the “holes” in my song library are from RBN songs. There’s just a LOT of shitty songs on RBN that even at a buck I won’t buy.
    As for the official Rock Band songs, there are very few tracks I’ve passed on. Skipped pretty much all the Grateful Dead except for Touch of Grey and Casey Jones, skipped the second Marley pack, some Siouxie, all of the country that isn’t available on the Country Pack discs. Oh. And Nickelback. I ain’t touching that shit.
    At a buck each for songs, I’d probably fill out most of my holes, but since I just hit 2000 songs this week, I’m not in a rush to go back and grab the few stragglers I didn’t buy already at full price.
    As for RBN stuff, there are too many for me to go back and “double check” whether I’d want to buy them, even at a dollar. I figure if I missed an RBN song, either it was a crappy song, it was stupid hard metal I have no interest in playing, it was two bucks when I’d have only payed a buck tops, or it was Amberian Dawn and I can’t stand them. Probably won’t go back to any RBN songs I passed up.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    RBN DLC is a different animal. RBN authors are free to change the pricing I believe once a quarter at their discretion. If you feel a song is too expensive, contact the author to see if they would consider dropping the price.

  • Vampire-Jekyll says:

    Where is the ‘Yes, even though I already own ALL of the legacy dlc offerings.’ option?