All good things must come to an end. The same can be said for Epic Games, which is preparing to shut down online servers for some of its older titles – including many Rock Band games – and completely remove some others
Fans of several key Rock Band titles will see their online services shut down next month. For most games listed on Epic Games official announcement (opens in a new tab)you will still be able to play them offline after the servers go offline.
This means if you prefer gathering your bandmates in the living room for local multiplayer music crazes, you’re safe. The same cannot be said for Rock Band Blitz players, however, as the game will be completely removed from the Epic Games Store.
You have until January 24, 2023 to say goodbye to the online servers of most Rock Band titles, including the original Rock Band trilogy, Green Day: Rock Band and Beatles: Rock Band. The only exception concerns the fourth installment. When that day comes, perhaps after all that time you’ve spent having these poor Internet strangers in rock n’ roll gaming battles, you’ll consider learning to really play the guitar. (Yes, sure.)
While five of its titles are set to go completely offline, Rock Band isn’t the only game series Epic Games team is blocking. The full list of games that will be removed from the online servers is as follows:
- Rock band
- rock band 2
- rock band 3
- The Beatles: a rock band
- Green Day: a rock band
- 1000 little claws
- Dance Central 1-3 (Online VR multiplayer will remain)
- Monsters (probably) stole my princess
- Rocket-powered supersonic acrobatic combat vehicles
- unreal gold
- Unreal II: Awakening
- Unreal Tournament 2003
- Unreal Tournament 2004
Finally, Epic has also confirmed some titles that will hit the ground for good. “Unreal Tournament (Alpha), Rock Band Blitz, Rock Band Companion app, and SingSpace will be shutting down and unavailable to players on January 24,” Epic’s announcement concludes.
Welcome to a new kind of tension
Anyone who knew someone who had a game console in the mid to late 2000s knows the pure, unbridled joy (or shame) of picking up a guitar-shaped console remote to channel their inner Slash and jamming with friends to the biggest hits of the genre . By tapping colorful notes on the screen and strumming the guitar at the same time, anyone could instantly become Randy Rhoads. From Judas Priest to Paramore, Rock Band really rocked when they burst onto the scene in 2007 to crash a Guitar Hero one-man party.
Created by the developers of the first two Guitar Hero games at Harmonix Music Systems, Rock Band was released just a month after Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. So began the push and pull between the two gaming franchises, with Activision’s Guitar Hero struggling to maintain its player base.
Until the release of Guitar Hero: World Tour, the rival supergroup Rock Band’s simulator was the only way to equip the band with instruments other than bass, rhythm and lead guitars. Neversoft (among other things) seemed to be trying to make a World Tour, which was released the following year in 2008, and also offered other playable instruments such as microphones and drums for a complete ensemble experience.
In 2009, these two franchises later expanded into the Nintendo DS family. Guitar Hero: On Tour released in June, upping the ante with an innovative guitar holder that could be inserted into the Gameboy Advance cartridge slot (RIP my teenage wrist), and Rock Band 3’s November release later that year made its Xbox 360 debut, PS3 and DS combined.
Guitar Hero and Rock Band compete to the bittersweet end. I won’t miss the days of blaming my sticky keyboard controller for my abysmal performance or fighting with my sister over lead guitar instead of rhythm. That said, since Rock Band is following Guitar Hero’s lead in getting rid of its online servers for all but one game, I’d like to send a very special middle finger to this one song that still sends shivers down the scoliotic spine of any kid in their 90s. One song that ruined more than one MySpace top five and caused too many cases of early quitting rage.
That’s right, Dragon Power; I’m talking directly to you.