Dance Dance Revolution showed that rhythm titles had a life here in the States, but Guitar Hero proved they could also become full blown phenomenons. No one could have guessed it at the time, but Harmonix's musical masterpiece quickly became the most culturally significant video game since Master Chief became a household name.
The success was long overdue for Harmonix, having already shown off their rhythmic chops with the PlayStation 2 favorites Frequency and Amplitude. Teaming up with Konami, they quickly established their dominance of the microphone on this side of the ocean with Karaoke Revolution. With 2005's Guitar Hero, they crafted the perfect blend of boyhood dreams and American rock insanity. The next step was obvious, but how could it possibly be done?
Speaking with Harmonix CEO and co-founder, Alex Rigopulos, Joystiq looks into the history of the great white hope of rhythm gaming and what goes into creating what, if everything goes according to plan, Rockband will be considered one of the greatest rhythm titles of all time. From the challenges of gathering licenses to taking on their own success, this is the story of the next great franchise.