Harmonix, the developers behind most of the music video games of the last decade, will be losing their main owner some time in the near future after a financial announcement yesterday.
MTV Games’ parent company Viacom announced that after a 59% drop in third quarter earning, the media giant plans on dropping all Harmonix-related operations. Most likely due to the decline of the music genre in general, Harmonix will soon find themselves on their own. Perhaps Activision will re-buy Harmonix and merge the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises. Will EA absorb the developers entirely? No one knows just yet. This will not however, affect the Rock Band games in their current form. In a statement to Kotaku, Viacom confirmed that the studio will contain all the rights to their games.
As announced this morning, Viacom plans to sell Harmonix and have reclassified Harmonix to a discontinued operation. However, this announcement does not affect the ongoing work at the studio as they continue to support Rock Band and Dance Central. Viacom’s decision to exit this business reflects our strategy of focusing entirely on what they do best: make great branded entertainment content and deliver it through a variety of platforms. Harmonix has and will continue to create terrific video games. But for us, it is about focus. Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed.
While the future of the Rock Band games may be in jeopardy right now, all of Harmonix’s current products will be supported in one way or another. So your Rock Band DLC won’t be leaving the Weekly PlayStation Update any time soon!