Rock Band Network Sales Analysis


With just over two weeks in to the Rock Band Network store going live, I thought I would do a quick “post game analysis” on the initial success of the Rock Band Network.  Below are some fairly reliable bits of info about the Rock Band Network for Harmonix to hang their hat on thus far.

Total Sales

As the tools publicly available only allow us to track scores, not sales figures, the actuals RBN DLC sales amounts will actually be HIGHER than the amounts listed here, as not all tracks purchased have been played and have a score yet, so these numbers are UNDERESTIMATING the true amount sold. Things to keep in mind (per Keldon):

  • Some players may buy a song and never play it.
  • Some players may buy a song and only play it as a band.
  • Some players may always play with modifiers such as No Fail Mode.
  • Some players may play a song and not reach the top 100,000 in the leaderboards, therefore their scores are not noticed.

So, let’s get on with some hard numbers!  Using the amount of tracks with scores per Keldon’s site, and multiplying each track sold against its corresponding sales price, I’ve reasonably estimated that in the first two weeks of the RBN going live, Harmonix has already grossed over $107,000 in sales from RBN DLC!

Does this define it as successful?  If you compare it to the first two weeks of sales for Modern Warfare 2, absolutely not, but that is not a fair comparison.  Then what would be a more fair comparison?  How about if we compared it to Xbox 360 Rock Band “official” DLC sales over the same time frame?!  In that case, dear reader, you are in luck, because I have also estimated that number…

Keeping the same caveats in mind from above, also remember that some of these tracks were purchased as part of a track pack, and thus total sales should be slightly DECREASED to reflect that this new fact.  So with all this said and done, “official” DLC released since 3/4/2010 has generated roughly $161,000 in revenue for the Xbox 360 alone (to help create a true apples-to-apples comparison).

So Harmonix is still generating more revenue through “official” DLC than RBN DLC?  Yes.  “OMG!!1! The Rock Band Network isn’t selling as much as the real DLC… this means it’s a total failure!” …Sorry, you’re wrong.  It’s true that it isn’t generating as much revenue (yet) as “official” DLC, but remember, distribution and hosting costs aside, Harmonix turns a 70% profit on the RBN DLC.  I highly doubt the same can be said for the “official” DLC. And as important as sales are, bottom line is what drives everything nowadays (read: Viacom’s shareholders went more profit from Harmonix).

Best Selling Tracks

Anyway, if you’re still reading this, then might I  interest you in the full list of the Top 20 RBN selling tracks? I can oblige after the break…

REMEMBER! The list below is the top 20 most tracks played to completion on a single instrument from the Rock Band Network; I want to be clear about this.  See above if you still don’t get that point yet.

Anyway, it is true that Bang Camaro’s “Push Push (Lady Lightning)” is the most downloaded RBN track… and by a pretty comfortable margin.

This list includes the rank of each song, as well as the total estimated sales (in parenthesis).

  1. Bang Camaro – Push Push (Lady Lightning) (4475)
  2. Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies (Live) (2201)
  3. Five Finger Death Punch – Burn it Down (2066)
  4. Jonathan Coulton – Code Monkey (2058)
  5. Flight of the Conchords – The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) (1598)
  6. The Slip – Even Rats (1564)
  7. Andrew Buch – Trippolette (1379)
  8. Attack Attack! – Stick Stickly (1366)
  9. Jonathan Coulton – The Future Soon (1334)
  10. Flogging Molly – Requiem for a Dying Song (1318)
  11. Suicide Silence – Disengage (1173)
  12. Steve Vai – For the Love of God (Live) (1136)
  13. Jonathan Coulton – Ikea (1111)
  14. Between the Buried and Me – Mordecai (1103)
  15. Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life ’09 (1037)
  16. Amberian Dawn – He Sleeps in a Grove (1035)
  17. Jonathan Coulton – Creepy Doll (1027)
  18. Senses Fail – Lady in a Blue Dress (962)
  19. Steve Vai – Get the Hell Out of Here (948)
  20. 3 Inches of Blood – Battles and Brotherhood (941)

Questions for me or want to check my work?  Hit me up here or on Twitter at @RockBandAide.

[Special thanks to Keldon.net]

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28 Responses to “Rock Band Network Sales Analysis”

  • Curtis says:

    What about if 4 people play it on the same 360? Wouldn’t it show up for 4 different people on the leaderboards?

  • TehShrike says:

    Actually, from what I’ve heard, HMX and MS split that 70% of DLC sales – and how they split the money is not public knowledge.

  • Ash says:

    HMX get 70% of whatever % is left after Microsofts cut.

  • gordofredito says:

    the thing is, it’s not available worldwide, that’s the flaw of this RBN

  • juan says:

    hey whats up, i always wanted to know if one day Rock band would put in the DLC songs with mexican bands like Mana, Cafe Tacuba, or Jaguares, these are pretty well known band in mexico so it will make a nice impact to latin players and for me because they are my favorite Rock bands. hope to hear an answer soon, thanks.

  • hippo8152006 says:

    they would make way more if rbn was on the ps3 and wii

  • Fuelie79 says:

    You also can take into consideration the fact that Harmonix pays ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for these songs. Harmonix are not paying the label or band to license the song for the game. They are doing that themselves. So keep in mind that Activision licensed “Semi-Charmed Life” for GH:VH. Even if each song was sold 1 time, they really wouldn’t be losing any money.

  • Randy says:

    The normal DLC is worldwide and includes other systems correct? So then that means RBN is doing very well with just one systems and not worldwide.

    Randy Reply:

    Scratch that last post misread the info but I still love RBN more the last couple of regular dlc.

  • The Guy says:

    Another article publishing false facts. Harmonix doesn’t take 70% of sales. The split is 35/35/30. Harmonix, Microsoft, Artist. The split is actually pretty similar for RBN and DLC. These speculation numbers are not accurate to real sales.