clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Crowdfunding campaign for Rock Band 4 PC version fails, reaching half the goal (update)

Rock Band is staying on consoles for now

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Rock Band 4 won't be coming to Windows PC, at least at this point, as Harmonix's crowdfunding campaign on Fig failed to meet its goal tonight.

The funding drive fell far short of its $1.5 million ask, pulling in $792,817 — only 52.85 percent of the goal — from 1,674 backers in 35 days. Because the campaign failed, no money will be collected.

Harmonix had planned to contribute the remaining $500,000 of the PC port's $2 million budget. That figure would have covered the cost of porting Rock Band 4 to PC, which would have been done by U.K. studio Sumo Digital. The PC version was also set to include a revived Rock Band Network; Harmonix would have handled that part.

Harmonix previously had a crowdfunding success with Amplitude, but that was on Kickstarter in May 2014. The studio was running this campaign on Fig, the investment-based crowdfunding platform launched by an ex-Double Fine executive in August 2015. Successful projects on Fig include Double Fine's Psychonauts 2, which was funded to the tune of $3.83 million in January, and Interabang Entertainment's Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, which pulled in more than $445,000 in a campaign that ended last week.

Rock Band 4 launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last October. Harmonix is currently focusing on virtual reality projects, including Rock Band VR for Oculus Rift and an app called Harmonix Music VR.

Update: Harmonix posted an update to the Fig page on April 6, saying that the campaign's failure demonstrates that "there doesn't seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now." Although the campaign raised nearly $800,000, which is no small figure, Harmonix said that "as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we're not sure has a big enough audience."

The studio also posted a Q&A in which it answered some common questions. In particular, Harmonix refuted allegations that $2 million was an "insane" cost for porting Rock Band 4 to PC.

"Since we're using our own engine, it's not a simple matter of flipping a compiler switch and building the game for the PC," Harmonix said. "There is no benefit to us attempting to artificially reduce what we think it will cost to build this game. We don't want to release a PC game that feels like a half-baked console port, and we have to be very realistic about the time and effort it will take, or we will no longer be a successful game development studio."

Harmonix did acknowledge that it could have done a better job setting up the Fig campaign's reward tiers, since "there was not as much community interest in some of them as we had expected, while others were snapped up within minutes."

As for the possibility that Rock Band 4 may still be ported to PC someday, Harmonix said it "might try again in the future" to make it happen, or "find another path." The company added that it doesn't have the bandwidth to just bring back Rock Band Network without Steamworks.

Correction: Harmonix's Kickstarter campaign for Amplitude was in May 2014, not May 2015. We've edited the article to reflect this.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.