Harmonix CEO Says Rock Band “Will Be Back”

May 21, 2014Written by Kayvon Ghoreshi


Harmonix co-founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos gave his thoughts on the music games genre in a Reddit AMA. He didn’t see Activision’s continuous stream of Guitar Hero games as the sole culprit in the genre’s demise, but he did acknowledge that “there’s probably some truth to the notion that Activision ‘over-published’ Guitar Hero.” Rigopulos also mentioned price and a failure to innovate as factors for the decline of the genre.

Reality is always more complicated than this. For example, it didn’t help that GH and RB were the most expensive video games on the market during a brutal recession. I also don’t think that either GH or RB delivered enough (or the right kind of) evolution of the experience in the years that followed the initial releases – something we hope to address at some point in the next outing.

It was unclear from this post whether Harmonix’s “next outing” was referring to a new Rock Band game or if it was referring to a new IP that was in the same genre. However, Rigopulos’ response to another question seemed to indicate that a new Rock Band was in the works, saying he was “sad when Rock Band passed its (first!) peak, but one way or another, it will be back.” He also discussed his thoughts on the future of music games.

Music games need to evolve just like every aspect of pop culture. The band game boom was followed by a dance game boom, which will be followed by some other manifestation of music games -hopefully some of the new stuff Harmonix is working on.

Music is a permanent aspect of the human experience, and so is gameplay. It’s Harmonix’s job to figure out new ways for music and gameplay to amplify each other’s emotional power. Stand by.

Do you think Rock Band and music games are going to make a resurgence? Let us know in the comments.