Friday, November 12, 2010
Viacom to Sell Harmonix
In the company's most recent financial briefing, MTV-owner Viacom announced that it would be selling Harmonix Music Systems in the near future.
According to Bloomberg, Viacom made announcements that it would be selling Harmonix, and this has been further demonstrated by the location of Harmonix in its books. As much as $299 million from Harmonix is now located in Viacom's Discontinued Operations, which states that the company is prepping to end operations with Harmonix via sale or dissolution.
No buyers have been immediately made known, but Harmonix officials have publicly stated that the company will continue supporting its products even after the sale.
Harmonix Music Systems was formed in 1995 with a focus in music interaction products, but its first video game came in the form of FreQuency and Amplitude for Sony in the early 2000s. The company also produced the Karaoke Revolution franchise with Konami before it worked with RedOctane to create Guitar Hero, a franchise in which players originally used a single replica guitar controller to play particular rock songs. After RedOctane was purchased by Activision, Harmonix was purchased by MTV Games and earned a publishing deal alongside Electronic Arts to make Rock Band, a series of music games in which players use guitar, bass, and drum controllers to play alongside a myriad of songs spanning a number of genres. The newest games made by Harmonix are Rock Band 3, which introduces a keyboard controller alongside other additions, and Dance Central, a Kinect launch title in which players dance to particular cues to the beat of today's and yesterday's top hits.