Mad Catz tightens its grip on Rock Band peripherals

by: Dan -
Mad Catz has been the exclusive peripheral maker for Rock Band for a little over two and a half years now and they seem to be doing a decent job with the products. So much in fact, they have expanded their deal with Harmonix (again) to now include the sale of the Rock Band 3 keyboard in a bundle, as well as distribution rights to a new MIDI adapter as well as a keyboard stand, microphone stand and drum pedal. The MIDI adapter will allow for many MIDI keyboards and electronic drum controllers to work as controllers for Rock Band 3. It also allows the Rock Band Squier by Fender Stratocaster to work as a controller.
Mad Catz Expands License Agreement with Harmonix for Rock Band Music Game Peripherals
Game/Hardware Bundle Distribution, MIDI Adaptor and Other New Accessories Added

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (AMEX/TSX: MCZ), a leading third-party interactive entertainment accessory provider, announced today that, through a series of amendments, it has expanded its multi-year licensing agreement with Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., the leading developer of music-based games. The amendments grant Mad Catz rights wherever Rock Band is sold to distribute bundles of the Rock Band 3 game with selected music videogame controllers, and adds several new accessories to the range of licensed peripherals Mad Catz intends to produce and distribute for the upcoming Rock Band 3 game.

The bundle contemplated by the expanded agreement is a keyboard bundle, which will package a copy of the Rock Band 3 game with the official, licensed Rock Band 3 keyboard. The new products added under the expansion of the agreement include a MIDI adaptor, which will allow the authorized Rock Band Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster®, along with most MIDI keyboards and electronic drum controllers, to operate as Rock Band 3 game controllers. Other new, added products for use with Rock Band 3 will include a keyboard stand, microphone stand and drum pedal.

“As excitement builds in anticipation of the fall launch of Rock Band 3, we are thrilled to have expanded our agreement with Harmonix to include a bundle which we believe offer the perfect introduction to the game and some of its unique features,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “For Mad Catz, distributing videogames along with the relevant accessories is an ideal way to leverage our powerful global distribution capabilities. We are also excited about the new products this agreement adds to our range of officially-licensed Rock Band peripherals. The MIDI adaptor is especially note-worthy, providing an innovative solution intended to make Rock Band 3 playable by musicians using many standard, MIDI-compatible controllers.”

Published by MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), and developed by MTV Network’s Harmonix Music Systems, the leading developer of music-based games, Rock Band is the multi-million unit selling, genre-defining music game platform that allows music fans and gamers to interact with and discover music like never before. Now with Rock Band 3, in addition to guitar, bass, drums and solo vocals, Rock Band 3 continues to allow players to start a band and rock the world by adding three-part vocal harmonies, a keyboard peripheral and the opportunity for players to develop actual musical skills through the fun of fully scalable Rock Band Pro gameplay. The Rock Band platform stands next to none in terms of music content with more than 1,500 songs already available from more than 400 artists (complete list of tracks at www.rockband.com/music). Additionally, some of the biggest artists of all time are exclusive to Rock Band, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, AC/DC, Green Day and The Beatles. With more than 70 million paid downloads since its launch November 20, 2007, Rock Band has set the bar for innovation by delivering groundbreaking music content and experiences through titles and initiatives such as Rock Band, Rock Band 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, LEGO® Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band and Rock Band Network. With more choices for fans than any other music-based videogame, Rock Band is, without question, the industry leader in providing the best selection of interactive musical content, songs and artists.
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