Viacom, parent company of MTV and Paramount, has announced plans to sell Rock Band developer Harmonix, reclassifying the studio as a discontinued operation.

Only four years ago Viacom purchased Harmonix for $175 million after rising to fame as the creator of the Guitar Hero franchise.

The decision to sell the studio comes after Viacom announced a third-quarter dip in earnings

Harmonix's Rock Band 3 slumped out of the UK Video Game chart on its second week of release after making its debut at No.26.

The studio's latest title, Dance Central, was released yesterday as part of the Kinect for Xbox 360 launch line-up. It's not clear what will happen to the Rock Band and Dance Central IPs. Analysis

According to Viacom, Harmonix made a loss of $65 million in the recent financial quarter, with the company stating the studio will be worth more to third parties than it is to them.

The sale is expected to be completed quickly, meaning the future of the studio and its associated franchises should become clear soon.

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User Comments

guyderman's Avatar


I can understand totally why people aren't interested - still doesn't stop it being a shame!
Posted 15:23 on 12 November 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ guyderman

Regardless of what reviewers gave the game. I can tell that the rhythm genre market was going to decline and this pretty much confirms that the cracks in the wall for the genre are starting to become bigger.

The pricing for these type of games are ridiculous high and pretty much has a new instalment each year.
Posted 15:17 on 12 November 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar


The fact that you had to remortgage your house to enjoy the full experience of Rock band 3 didn't help its chances of selling well.
Posted 15:14 on 12 November 2010
guyderman's Avatar


All this is a real shame as RB3 is a gem of a game. It just goes to show that high review scores can't sell a title if people have had enough of it.
Posted 15:10 on 12 November 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


My prediction -> EA or EA Partners -> Studio focus on low cost to produce Kinect specific titles
Posted 12:56 on 12 November 2010
draytone's Avatar


The rhythm genre is definitely on the way out, the novelty wore off a while ago and not many want to fork out that much money for a plastic guitar when they could buy a console for the same price.
Posted 12:45 on 12 November 2010
Woffls's Avatar


EA will buy them if Dance Central does well, but I think they will tell them to spend less money on Rock Band and discourage them from making people spend £130 on a plastic guitar to use their new game.

They might wait, though, and see if anyone else wants to buy them. Microsoft is a small possibility if Dance Central sells Kinect for them, but again I don't know how much of a focus they'd want Rock Band to be. Maybe it's all becoming irrelevant if the rhythm genre is in decline?

Very interested to see what happens here, unless EA just say "yup we're buying them and not changing a thing."
Posted 12:40 on 12 November 2010
draytone's Avatar


The sales of RB3 must of have a hand in the desicion to sell, the probably decided to see who well it sold before deciding to jump ship. Hopefully staff won't be laid off.
Posted 12:33 on 12 November 2010
dudester's Avatar


EA or acti would shell out for them.
Posted 12:13 on 12 November 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar


I wonder how much of this was because of the hammering Rock Band 3 has seen at sales...? I'll pick it up once it hits the bargain bins, and I know I am not alone in that sentiment.

Quite a few names of possible buyers floating about: Bethesda (or Zenimax - they'be been on a buying spree lately...), Microsoft (they have close ties with RBN and Dance Central), Sony (music catalogue - although they seem to be played down on other sites), even Apple. EA would be a logical acquirer, but... who knows?
Posted 20:06 on 11 November 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 29/10/2010
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 3,023
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