Harmonix, the esteemed music-focused developer behind such industry hits as Rock Band and Fuser—and even the original creators of Guitar Hero before the IP was acquired by Activision—has been acquired by Epic Games. This puts enormous resources into one of the most creative studios in the games industry, with an effort to continue evolving and pushing forward the idea of what a music game can be. For fans of existing Harmonix games, this doesn’t mean any changes are coming. Fuser and Rock Band Rivals will still be supported, though developers at Harmonix will also “work with Epic to create musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite.”
“We have aspired to redefine what a music game can be,” Harmonix said. “Now, we’ll be working with Epic to once again challenge expectations as we bring our unique brand of musical gaming experiences to the Metaverse, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Rock Band DLC will continue to release for the foreseeable future (at least into 2022), Rock Band Rivals has Season 25 already planned and ideas brewing for Season 26 and beyond, and there won’t be any change to the cadence of planned Fuser DLC and events. Additionally there are no plans to change anything about servers or game availability of any of Harmonix’s currently running titles. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a revival of the plastic instrument craze, it is “not in [their] current plans” to manufacture more Rock Band instruments, though if anyone can one day revive the era of plastic instrument jam bands, it’s Harmonix and Epic.
What the team is working on next is working with Epic specifically to “create musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite.” They aren’t going into the specifics on these plans just yet, but given the pedigree of Harmonix’s past interactive music experiences, we can expect the studio to bring a new interactive musical flair to Epic’s metaverse in ways that no other developer can. Adding to the enormous concerts and musical events Fortnite has already done, we can only imagine what flavor Harmonix might bring to the table.