Viacom Inc. announced today that it would be selling Harmonix, the developer responsible for the Rock Band series, as well as Guitar Hero before it was taken over by
the devil Activision. Viacom bought Harmonix through its subsidiary MTV Networks in 2006, and soon after gave them $300 million for simply being awesome.
The lackluster sales of Harmonix’s recent release of Rock Band 3 were most likely a factor in this decision to sell, but I like to think Viacom was sick of tripping over plastic instruments every five minutes. Harmonix has seen recent success with Dance Central, currently the main reason to buy a Kinect, but it’s likely it was not enough to warrant Viacom continuing to support the company, and by proxy, the many bands of its employees.
I’m sure Harmonix dropped a ton of money developing the new keyboard controller, and sales of the game failed to compensate for that investment, but really Viacom? You’re not even going to give them till Christmas? Dudes, not cool.
The past success of the company almost ensures that they will be quickly bought, so I’m sure Harmonix will be cluttering our living rooms for a while yet. I’m still waiting for my damn sousaphone peripheral.