Harmonix explains why Rock Band 4 isn't coming to PC

Rock Band

It's worth noting right out of the gate that Rock Band has never been on the PC, and so there's really no particular reason to expect that the upcoming Rock Band 4 will be the first. But the resurgence of PC gaming, and Valve's ongoing push into the living room, had apparently boosted hopes that maybe this time would be our time. It will not.

"There are a few reasons" for not doing a PC version, Product Manager Daniel Sussman told Eurogamer. For one thing, Harmonix isn't sure there's a sufficient audience for it, and more importantly, there are concerns about security issues: Not with regard to game piracy, but rather with the game's licensed music.

"There's something comforting about the closed network that comes along with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That's important to our partners in the music industry," Sussman said.

As for the rise of Steam Machines as console competitors, Harmonix isn't quite ready to hitch its cart to that horse just yet. "I think that is a big thing and we're still waiting for that to be more than a thing we think is coming," he said. "But for it to be a thing that is absolutely there before we go that way."

In a follow-up statement, Harmonix left the door to a PC edition open, albeit only a crack. "As Daniel stated, the security in question is related to licensed music in the game. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have robust functionality in that area. It's added security that's handled by the platform holders," the studio explained. "In the case of more open platforms like PC, we're responsible for that. It's something we can build. It's not off the table for the future, however we're first focusing on delivering Rock Band 4 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this holiday."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.