- When MTV bought Harmonix for $175 million last year, it was clear it would heavily promote the studio's first project with every arm of its media empire. When that project turned out to be Rock Band, a multi-instrument, karaoke-enhanced rhythm game, that became even more obvious. Then, when Viacom announced it planned to invest a half-billion dollars in its MTV Games unit, it appeared no expense would be spared on fine-tuning Rock Band's hype machine.
This week, in conjunction with the Summer Showcase of Rock Band's distributor, Electronic Arts, MTV Games announced the latest promotional offensive for the title. Like many actual rock bands before it, the game will embark on a cross-country bus tour. The orgy of synergy will begin at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas September 9, when several buses equipped with Rock Band demo stations will fan out across the country. Stops will include several college campuses.
MTV will also use the Rock Band bus tour to indulge in another rock-and-roll tradition, the battle of the bands. Every "band" that plays the game on the main stage will have their performance recorded, with the resulting video being sent back to the casting directors responsible for MTV's battery of reality shows. Of those, two groups will be flown to MTV's New York City headquarters to practice...