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More than just a game, Rock Band was a cultural phenomenon during its heyday, but one that was primarily contained in the North America. A version for Japan was announced, yet never came to be. No one knew why exactly, but at least some facts have finally come to light.

At Tokyo Game Show, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos cited of all the reasons why Rock Band Japan was abandoned. At the top of the list were licensing issues; obtaining Japanese music is apparently quite tricky, especially when compared to other parts of the world. It's also why J-pop releases in America that were somewhat hinted at one point never materialized either.

Japanese people also have less space, and they tend to make less noise as well, hence why many don't party at home either. Which kills the whole party game nature of the title. Furthermore, "manufacturing and shipping hundreds of thousands more plastic peripherals to an island country" was a challenge as well.

Joystiq asked if there was any consideration for an arcade version, but the noisiness of such an environment pretty much killed that option. Which only makes sense if you forget that Rock Band (and Guitar Hero)'s predecessors, Guitar/Drum Freaks were born in the arcade.

One must also wonder if Q-Entertainment has anything to say on the subject, who had been signed up by Harmonix to help localize the game. Though most Japanese publishers are super secretive, so hearing a different take on the situation, if there is one, let alone what set list they were working on, will more than likely never happen.