The Fender Stratocaster, one of the most recognizable and iconic guitars on the planet, has been at the heart of the Rock Band franchise since the start. Fans may be happy to learn, then, that Harmonix and Fender are staying partners for a long, long time.
The two companies today announced a licensing deal that lets Harmonix use the Fender brand in Rock Band 4 and potentially other games until 2027.
The other big piece of news today is the release of the teaser video below, which suggests a new Fender bass guitar is on the way.
"Rock Band is all about living out your rock n' roll fantasies, on stage, under the lights, in front of a crowd," Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak said in a statement. "For decades, Fender's iconic designs and signature sound have made them the guitar and amp of choice for many of rock's greatest stars.
"Naturally Fender has also been the guitar of choice for many of Rock Band's aspiring rock stars dating back to the series' introduction in 2007. I'm thrilled that they'll continue to be a part of Rock Band well into our next decade."
Fender business development executive Mark Van Vleet said in a statement that "Harmonix continues to impress us with their attention to detail and precision in faithfully recreating our classic instruments."
2016 is poised to be a big year for Rock Band 4. The game is getting its first paid expansion pack this fall. It comes with music library improvements including the ability to filter by genre and rate songs, as well as many more features that Harmonix will talk about more during E3. They sound like major, game-changing features.
"Actually huge stuff in store here," community lead Josh Harrison said at PAX East, adding that the expansion is inspired by expansion packs for Destiny and World of Warcraft. He went on to describe the features as "really huge and brand-new."