Rumor Killers: September 12th, 2008

Is there a Rock Band reality show in the works?

Over the last few years, television executives have gone a little crazy with the reality shows. You can’t turn on a station without hitting some program that requires contestants to live in a house together making catty remarks to a camera while doing ridiculous challenges. Now it looks like video games might be making a featured appearance in a show, as rumors have begun swirling that MTV is considering a reality show based around Rock Band.

According to this post on Craigslist, the producers are looking for groups of four in the SoCal area to appear on a show themed after Rock Band 2. Examples of potential "unique" bands include a firefighter house and a sorority. Each group is required to consist of four members (a vocalist, bassist, guitarist, and drummer), with everyone involved over the age of 18. Apparently, the show is being produced by Mark Burnett, who you may know from a little show called "Survivor."

As of today, MTV and Harmonix have not commented on the rumor, but we believe it’s more because they’re too busy laughing about it than they are fretting over a massive secret getting out. While it’s true that video games have gotten the reality game treatment before (check out ESPN’s "Madden Nation"), this one is hard to swallow. The biggest contradiction to catch our Phoenix Wright-like gaze is the fact that the email address listed on the Craigslist application is directing people to Gmail, not MTV or Harmonix. Come now, don’t you think that if this show were being sponsored by MTV, applicants would be applying to something like rockband2@mtv.com?

Until someone from MTV or Harmonix confirms this, we’re going to remain skeptical, ever-wary of Internet phishing scams. If it turns out we’re wrong, we’ll shrug our shoulders and say, "Oh well, now let’s hope it works." In the meantime, this is all a little too suspicious. The rumor may not be dead, but we’ve got it in our scope and are lining up the headshot.

TGR Verdict: Very Unlikely

Fight Night 4 on the Way?

When EA decided to close its Chicago studios last year there was one big question on everyone’s mind: what’s going to happen to Fight Night? The venerable boxing franchise was the undisputed king of the genre, bringing sim-style boxing to a whole new generation, and stoking a renewed interest in the sweet science. However, the closure of EA Chicago seemed to be a death sentence for the series… until now.

According to reports, the Fight Night franchise is alive and well, as the fourth installment was shown at this week’s GameStop Expo in Las Vegas. The show is mainly geared toward retailers only, so media access is limited, but games journalist N’Gai Croal used his rock-star status to earn and invite, and a brief post on his Level Up blog confirms that he did indeed see the game at the show.

As far as the game itself, EA is promising a system which "allows for missed punches, glancing punches, knockout blows and for the first time ever, rough and tumble inside fighting". We don’t have any more info about gameplay or fighters who will be appearing, other than finding out that Mike Tyson will be showing up for the first time since 2002.

Everything about this rumor seems legit; N’Gai is one of the most trusted journalists in the field, and EA’s discussion of features leads us to believe that there’s no reason to doubt this game. So to anyone out there put off by the goofy antics of Facebreaker and looking for a more realistic approach to boxing, it would seem that Fight Night Round 4 is indeed on the way.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Confirmed

Motorstorm coming to PSP?

Yesterday, a listing by UK retailer Game set the Internet all a-tingle at the prospect of a PSP version of Sony’s popular off-road racing franchise Motorstorm. It seemed like a reasonable supposition that the game would make the jump to PSP, especially considering Sony’s habit of porting highly successful PS2 and PS3 franchises over to the handheld.

Unfortunately though, it looks like this one was not meant to be, as SCEE today confirmed that the whole situation simply boils down to someone making a mistake. So if you had gotten your hopes up over teensy mud being flung on the PSP, go ahead and let those same hopes come crashing back to earth, hopefully with a satisfying thud.

While I didn’t put much faith in this rumor to begin with, it was one I had kind of hoped would be true due to the fact that the PSP needs more good games to keep the little bugger afloat. Sure, retooling console franchises to work on a handheld might not be the best business model, but anything is better than my PSP’s current role as $200 paperweight. So even though you folks at Sony have already said Motorstorm PSP isn’t going to happen, can I ask you to reconsider? I promise I’ll buy it, so that’s one guaranteed sale right there! Anybody feel like starting a useless Internet petition?

TGR Verdict: Rumor Killed

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