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Epic Games has acquired Harmonix Systems

Romier S

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Another bit of industry consolidation:




Fortnite developer Epic Games is buying Guitar Hero and Rock Band developer Harmonix. Epic and Harmonix confirmed the news after VentureBeat broke the story. It is just the latest big buyout from Epic, which previously acquired Rocket League developer Psyonix and Fall Guys studio Mediatonic.

Founded in 1995, Harmonix is best known for creating the Guitar Hero universe. It developed the first two games in the series before Activision took control. Harmonix then created Rock Band, again to great commercial and critical success. The company is also known for its Dance Central games that used the Xbox 360's Kinect camera. The company's latest release was Fuser, a rhythm game that launched in 2020 through a partnership with NCSoft.

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  • Romier S changed the title to Epic Games has acquired Harmonix Systems

Interesting. Harmonix is an interesting company in that they’ve stayed pretty true to their music/rhythm game roots, and have tried a variety of concepts around that, despite it not providing commercial success for quite some time. The fact that they are being tasked with creating musical experiences in Fortnite to extend the metaverse is a bit…… I dunno.

If this had happened in 2008 or 2009, this would have been huge news. Today it’s more “Oh right… I forgot about Harmonix. What have they been doing?” 

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What's interesting about this is that this is a company that was independent, got acquired, took itself back independent, and now got acquired again.  I have to imagine that this time was because there were questions about survival, because you're right, they haven't had a huge commercial success.  Rock Band is still ticking away I suppose, and I really liked their VR game (Audica), but that never hit Beat Saber levels of popularity.  I have no idea what this will end up being in Fortnite, but hopefully it's more than just adding more dances...

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On 11/23/2021 at 3:07 PM, Graeme said:

Today it’s more “Oh right… I forgot about Harmonix. What have they been doing?” 


Dropmix was pretty fun, even it was more "here's some really cool tech in a marginal game" (the mechanics were pretty much just colors, numbers, and dumb luck), and I wasn't wild about not being able to just buy the cards I wanted.  I was glad to see that better fleshed out for Fuser.  But its commercial prospects were so dire that the physical release was canned after preorders for 'em had already gone up, and the idea of the highest scores requiring the most unlistenable mixes -- since you basically have to change out a musical element every beat or whatever -- is nonsense in a music game. 


We still haven't sunk nearly as much time into Fuser as we did with Dropmix.  My wife and I do still play Rock Band a good bit, though.

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