Music video games such as Rock Band have exposed hundreds of songs and bands - both old and new - to millions of gamers. Now, aspiring songwriters can have a chance at getting their music to the masses on the Rock Band Network.
Created by MTV Games and Harmonix, the Rock Band Network will launch in August and will provide instructions for how songwriters can turn their tunes into gameplay files to be sold as playable tracks.
It's a little complicated
Just because you think what might be an awesome song doesn't automatically mean it gets in the game, however: Authors must submit tracks for playtesting at CreatorsRockBand.com, a premium site available to those who purchase membership to Microsoft's XNA Creators Club Online, the cost of which varies from $49.99 for four months to $99.00 for a year.
Once a track gets the nod, it will be transferred and sold via the Rock Band Network Store exclusively for Xbox 360 for a 30-day period. Stand-out songs will later be sold for the Playstation 3 and Wii.
Yes, you can get paid!
While nobody's saying you'll be making mad bank, Harmonix and MTV promise rockers they will be paid. Artists featured in the store will be able to price individual tracks according to multiple pricing tiers, and they'll receive royalties accordingly.
"Our goal with Rock Band has always been to go beyond making music games and create a true music platform," said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix. "With the Rock Band Network, we've evolved the platform to its next logical step."
Good thing it's debuting in August, of course: Come September, songwriting hopefuls will have a wee bit of Rock Band competition from a little band from Liverpool.
Check out the clip below for more information on how the Rock Band Network will operate.