The developer of the first ‘Guitar Hero’ games and the current ‘Rock Band’ game franchise, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., is on the block, according to the third quarter earnings release announced this week by parent-company, Viacom Inc.
When Rock Band 3 was first introduced, the game’s developer, Harmonix, announced that they would be teaming up with Fender to produce a fully functional guitar that would be compatible with the game’s new pro mode.
Could there be more differences of opinion? Apparently not. Are the simulated music games “a gift,” as John Spinelli or Seminole Music & Sound thinks? And as Jeff Firestone of Keene, N.H. asks rhetorically: “How can this be bad?” Or, as Spike Klein of The Magic Flute so eloquently put it: “[The games] are like Dungeon & Dragons meets air guitar in Loser Land.”
A Brief Chat with Harmonix Music Systems’ Daniel Sussman…As the developers of the original Guitar Hero games and now the driving force behind the Rock Band series, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. is one of the key architects of the current music simulation video game phenomenon. Director of Hardware Development, Daniel Sussman has been with Harmonix since before the first end-user ever picked up one of those tiny plastic guitars and began playing along with the classic rock tracks featured in the first Guitar Hero.
There’s no shortage of opinions, and no hard data, but several ask: “How can this be bad?” The numbers are mind numbing. In January, Harmonix, owned by Viacom, reported Rock Band broke platinum, selling one million units. By May they had shipped a total of three million copies of the game. Also in January, Activision, maker of Guitar Hero, reported to have generated one billion dollars in sales in North America within 26 months. At the end of last year, that game had sold 7.5 million units. That number has moved over the 10 million mark. And counting – fast.