Homeless Harmonix: Where Are Music Games Headed?

Things just seem to keep getting worse for Harmonix. In November, parent company Viacom announced that it would be selling the game developer — most famous for its creation of the Rock Band franchise — as part of a larger plan to exit the video game industry.

This week, Electronic Arts, the distributor of Rock Band and a rumored potential buyer for Harmonix, disclosed that the developer is not on its list of potential acquisitions. Bloomberg reports that, according to EA chief executive officer John Riccitiello, “buying the Rock Band music video game franchise could make ‘theoretical’ sense, [but] it’s not the strategic direction his company is moving in.”

Harmonix isn’t the only music game developer having a rough year.  Game Informer reported earlier this year that first month sales of Activision’s sixth major entry in the Guitar Hero series, Warriors of Rock, were a meager 100,000 total units — quite a departure from its last release, Guitar Hero 5, which sold almost 500,000 units in its first month.

All of these signs seem to point to a lack of interest in the distribution and purchase of music related video games. For whatever reason — market saturation, lack of innovation, or economic downturn, to name a few — the music game is no longer the king of the proverbial video game mountain.  Is this the end of the road?

Despite the negative news, Riccitello believes this is merely a speed bump.  “I think the music genre is going to recover,” he told Kotaku. “I don’t know exactly how.”


1 Response to “Homeless Harmonix: Where Are Music Games Headed?”

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