It’s been a long road for Harmonix. They originally created Guitar Hero, and brought the world of rhythmic instrument-based games to the mainstream market. They then moved on to Rock Band, creating a plethora of DLC sales and enhancing the experience. Sadly, sales of the actual games have been declining as the musical game scene – deemed a ‘fad’ by some pundits – seems to be slowing its pace. Not even a month after the release of both Rock Band 3 and Dance Central, it seems their parent company owner, Viacom, is aiming to sell them.
Viacom issued no statement on why they wanted to get rid of the Boston-based Harmonix, merely stating that they plan to sell Harmonix to another company. Seeing as Harmonix has a heavily established name and good reputation, I’d imagine they might be picked up by other high-profile owners quite quickly. They already have a publishing deal with EA Games, so it would be logical if EA would then strike a chord in the ownership area as well.
Viacom wants to ‘drop it like its hot’.
It’s a curious decision to make – not in terms of dropping the company, but in the timing they chose to make it official. With Rock Band 3 pushing the frontier of musical gaming again (despite a shortage of Madcatz keyboards in some areas, and the wait for the pro guitar) and Dance Central being hailed as possibly the best Kinect game at launch, it seems they weren’t given much time to prove themselves. That said, perhaps the current sales are of no matter to Viacom, who simply might want out of the entire music game idea.
What do you think, Ranters? Why do you think Viacom is ditching Harmonix, and who do you think might sweep in to hire the band-out-of-Boston? The gaming industry has been to a lot of crazy destinations lately, so only time will tell – but that shouldn’t stop some educated guesses.