In case you missed it on my Twitter feed, yesterday Harmonix confirmed that Rock Band 3 will have vocal harmonies, like those found in The Beatles and Green Day Rock Bands.
Only they didn’t mean to confirm it.
The scene was the Rock Band panel at PAX East, titled “An Awkward Hour With Rock Band Designers.” Scant minutes after emphatically insisting at the they couldn’t talk about Rock Band 3 at all, the panel found themselves faced with the following question from the audience:
Q: I know it was announced that the songs would be exportable, but I also know that on the Green Day game there are going to be harmonies, and I don’t think that’s available in Rock Band 2. So, is there any way you’re going to reconcile that?
And here’s the response:
Chris Foster, project lead for Green Day: Rock Band (far left): So, we’re doing a couple things. We’re importing the six Green Day songs that are out already into Green Day: Rock Band and adding harmonies to those. And the 47 songs in Green Day have harmonies; they’ll import to Rock Band 2. And I think we’ve said — we’ve already said that Rock Band 3 has harmonies, it’s one of the few things we’ve actually said about it; thank you, Mr. DeGooyer.*
Dan Teasdale, lead designer for Rock Band 3 (far right): No, we haven’t announced anything. Thanks for leaking that, Chris. [much laughter from the audience and the panel] I’m just glad that wasn’t me.
CF: I totally Teasdaled that, I’m sorry.
Casey Malone, designer (second from right): I’m really expecting [communications manager] John Drake to crash through the ceiling right now like a Sentinel and just pick us up. [much laughter] Yeah, this crowd gets that joke! [much laughter and applause]
CF: I wasn’t originally on the panel, as you might have noticed. So I’m going to stop talking there, but you might want to put the rest of that together. It’s been nice working for Harmonix.
Shortly thereafter, the threat became real: John Drake stormed into the theater, chasing Foster off the stage and attempting to tackle him, to loud cheers and laughter from the panel and audience. He then grabbed a chair and planted it directly in front of the panelists’ table, where he sat, arms crossed, and glowered at the panel for the rest of the hour.
I’ll have more about the Rock Band panel soon, but wanted to share this entertaining exchange first, as it was the main bit of real news to come out of the panel. It certainly doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that the two Rock Band games that will be preceding it also have harmonies, but it’s a nice confirmation nonetheless.
UPDATE: RockBandAide now has video of the scandalous event!
*It’s pretty clear that Foster was referring to this interview with MTV Games Senior VP Paul DeGooyer, where DeGooyer is talking about Green Day: Rock Band. Since both it and Rock Band 3 are arriving later this year, I think it’s pretty easy to understand how someone would mix the two up. But I suspect John Drake may see things differently.