Viacom sells Rock Band developer Harmonix for 4999

first_imgThe gaming world’s fascination with music games that involve holding a plastic instrument has come to an end. Rock Band and Guitar Hero were worth millions at the height of their popularity and Viacom ended up paying $175 million for Rock Band developer Harmonix.But the popularity of such games has diminished, and publishers now look to be offloading assets in a desperate bid to get some revenue back and move on. Viacom is one such publisher, but it hasn’t made any money on the sale of Harmonix. In fact, it has just sold the developer for the price of a video game: $49.99.AdChoices广告The lucky buyer is investment group Columbus Nova. The deal is not as simple as it seems, though. Paying $50 for the company may seem cheap, but it comes with a number of hidden costs such as music royalty payments and remaining assets such as unsold games and peripherals. Viacom is also thought to be netting around $150 million in tax benefits, although that’s still a $25 million shortfall on what they paid for the developer in the first place.So Harmonix is now owned by an investment firm, but it looks as though the existing staff and management may retain control. A post by the developer’s manager of communications, John Drake, makes it sound like they are an indie again:We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio. As for what it means for you, the DLC schedule marches on for Rock Band, we will continue our support of previously released titles and we’re hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you’re going to be pumped about. Could this mean new music games on the horizon? Or has Harmonix realized that market is dying and moving on to other genres? We’ll just have to wait and see.Read more at All Things D and RipTenlast_img

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