Harmonix Goes Independent

By Pete Haas 2010-12-23 22:02:46 discussion comments
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Viacom completed its sale of Rock Band developer Harmonix today. The buyer? Harmonix!

"We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio," said Harmonix on their company website. "As for what it means for you, the DLC schedule marches on for Rock Band, we will continue our support of previously released titles and we’re hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you’re going to be pumped about."

Harmonix was purchased by Viacom in 2006 for $175 million. However, amidst declining sales in the rhythm genre, Viacom decided to cut bait. Last month, Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman said that the console games business "requires expertise and scale we don't have."

The Cambridge-based developer was founded in 1995. It created Guitar Hero in 2005. However, the rights to the franchise remained with Activision after the Viacom purchase so Harmonix was forced to begin anew with Rock Band. Most recently, they released a Kinect launch title called Dance Central.
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