Thursday, December 9, 2010

Activision No-Comments on Harmonix/Viacom Break-Up

This is probably the most interesting story right now in the gaming industry- At least publicly anyway. Last month, we reported on the story that conglomerate Viacom was getting out of the games business and selling off it's formerly prized developer Harmonix- and of course, along with them would go the Rock Band series.

Now Harmonix' former home, (and mega publisher) Activision, is commenting on the matter. Sort of. Website Industry Gamers had the opportunity to interview Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hershberg about the split and possible reunion. In a nutshell, he said that Activision has a huge level of respect for Harmonix, but that he couldn't really comment about the situation right now- siting the fact that it is a very complex situation with Viacom and the Rock Band devs.

He then went on to praise the (Activision's own) Guitar Hero brand. But it's actually kind of telling that Hershberg didn't just straight up go on the record with a hard 'we're happy with Guitar Hero and (developer) Neversoft' line.

Honestly, it would be shocking if Activation didn't at least make a play to bring Harmonix' talent back into the fold. It's no secret that Guitar Hero has been playing catch-up with Rock Band since the MTV branded title first launched. The only reason Harmonix is for sale at all is because music games as a whole have been dropping revenue over the last few years and Viacom doesn't really care stay involved with the industry-not because their work is substandard. To the contrary, Rock Band 3 has gotten excellent reviews.

It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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