GDC 07: EA to publish Harmonix-MTV game

Megapublisher lands deal to distribute the "most ambitious" effort yet from creators of Guitar Hero; Alex Rigopulos explains how it went down in an audio Q&A.

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Vice president of EA Partners David DeMartini announces the publishing deal with Harmonix.

SAN FRANCISCO--Last year, Activision spent nearly $91 million to acquire indie publisher RedOctane and its popular rhythm game license, Guitar Hero. The investment has paid off: As of January 31, the PlayStation 2 Guitar Hero II has sold over 1.58 million copies in the US alone, generating upwards of $114 million. That haul will surely increase next month, when an expanded version of the game arrives on the Xbox 360.

While the RedOctane purchase was certainly a coup, its edge was blunted somewhat when MTV Networks bought Guitar Hero developer Harmonix for $175 million. (Guitar Hero development is now being done in-house at Activision-owned NeverSoft.) The situation was further complicated tonight, when Harmonix cofounder Alex Rigopoulos and vice president of EA Partners David DeMartini revealed that Activision's archrival Electronic Arts will distribute the forthcoming MTV-branded game.

Speaking with GameSpot at a 2007 Game Developers Conference-related event, Rigopoulos said his company had inked a deal with EA Partners, EA's independent developer liaison. Under deals brokered via the division, EA is copublishing Mercenaries 2 with Pandemic Studios, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 with Valve Software, Crysis with Crytek, and Hellgate: London with Flagship studios.

As for further details of the EA-published, MTV-branded game, Rigopoulos demurred. "The project we're working on is by far, by far our most ambitious undertaking ever," he said.

Discussion

121 comments
Knivez0r
Knivez0r

Guitar Hero: Have it Your Way You'll get it in a second. I promise.... ..... ......... ...........Okay if you didnt. See how EA advertises Burger King alot in their games...yes.

Armchair_QB
Armchair_QB

These are the guys that actually created Guitar Hero so I'm thinking that this new "ambitious" project will be multiple times better (unless they got lucky with GH).

sk8w_pace
sk8w_pace

Maybe you guys didn't read the article correctly. MTV and EA do not own the guitar hero license. Activision has that. This article is about MTV buying the developer from the past GH games, and they will make their own (hopefully different) version

sstadick
sstadick

all the good playstation games going to the 360. If anyone disagrees email me at stevenstadick@yahoo.com or my gamer tag is Zone King

Huevo_Feo
Huevo_Feo

Seeing every single comment about how bad MTV is (and I agree) I see it being probable MTV might put itself aside and make a good game... esspecially if they are visiting any forums and are seeing how many consumers they will lose... honestly if MTV has any goodness in it ( or wants to make money which I believe will be the overcoming factor) they will try to keep the game as well preserved as they can... well here's to hoping ... as for EA they seem to be the biggest threat to future guitar hero/ guitar hero like games... lets just hope MTV does what was above mention... and EA finds a way to withstrain itself from...being itself

Samuz
Samuz

This can't be good. Signing a deal with EA is like signing a deal with the devil himself. EA has the power and willing to destroy all good game franchaises out there. Not to mention MTV which means nothing but total crap 24/7.

705H1R0
705H1R0

i don't think the gameplay will change much, but the tracks will. it will change from awesome classic rock and metal to whatever's popular on MTV, which will suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Lasafrog
Lasafrog

I had forgotten about MTV since it started sucking in the mid 90s. They're still around? MTV + EA = nothing I'm going to buy, that's for damn sure. That's almost as bad as giving money to Sony!!! :p

Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

EA ?!? I'd rather sign a deal with the devil. At least the devil won't jam pack my game with advertisements.

Axe_336
Axe_336

So by "Guitar Hero being just the beginning of these types of games" do they mean they're going to be remaking more of Konami's ideas?

Shingo
Shingo

Can you say 'softened up by the man'

tedward0983
tedward0983

People, don't be so worried, this game comes out in 3 weeks. Do you honestly believe that they are going to change the entire song list in 3 weeks. These things are already printed and on their ways to the stores. Its to late for Guitar Hero 2 to be ruined by Mtv, but GH3 .........

spelledarn
spelledarn

MTV: the Game! You sit around watching shrill announcers talk about hip hop, then watch one video, then watch 23 hours of cheap reality TV. Repeat.

jeffmacdonnell
jeffmacdonnell

Hopefully being developed by MTV doesn't strip the game of all it's music, like the television network.

LoserMike
LoserMike

I'm thinking it's a music game about a whole freakin' band!!! You got the singing skills from Karaoke Revolution, the guitars from Guitar Hero, Bass, drumming, keyboarding, and a DJ kit. Plus some DANCING!!!

mad_max01
mad_max01

Guitar Hero 2 had like 3 songs that i liked. The rest were not as good as the first one.

bocephus5781
bocephus5781

Selling out to MTV is the worst thing they could have done. I wouldn't be surprised if MTV crashes and burns the whole Guitar Hero franchise.

redgamer63
redgamer63

i think that red octane and activision will win and ea/mtv will screw it up with in game marketing and really bad songs...espicially mtv..they shouldnt make game period...it could be a could game IFFFFFF they just let harmonix just do everything and give them a nice sum of money 2 do it

j_koski
j_koski

people, there's a difference between publishing and developing... the only part we have to worry about is MTV.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

I think Harmonix is a talented developer with a proven track record but in my humble opinion, for this game to succeed it will have to avoid a few pitfalls such as: 1) EA and MTV need to keep their "creative ideas" to themselves and just cut a check and let Harmonix do what they do best. 2) EA can't strip out songs, etc. from the finished game and then suddenly release them as microtransactions on XBLM a week after the game hits the shelves or worse, the same day. Leave a game whole for once already. 3) Seeing MTV is involved we simply have to accept the fact that at least a few lame "popular" songs are going to be shoved down our throats. If they are kept to a minimum (2 or 3, 4 at the most) then we can concentrate on the good songs without having to waste too much time on hyped-up garbage. 4) Just as MTV is now known for almost no music and generic reality shows, EA is known for excessive in-game ads. This is probably unavoidable but please EA, for the love of Heaven, don't overdue it. If I have to see that Burger King pimp strutting around in yet another game so completely out of place I may just lose it.--------------------------------My Bottom Line-------------------------- If Harmonix makes the game they want it could be sweet. If EA and MTV have their marketing, PR bozos and bean-counters running the show then this game could be a disaster. My guess is it will be recieve moderate critical success and rack up big sales because of EA and MTV's massive marketing muscle. It could get interesting if this game is released around the same time as Guitar Hero 3.

TimSpot
TimSpot

I'm not normally quick to come to the defense of EA, but what they're doing here with EA Partners is great. They're taking a hands-off approach and are really just going to be the distributors of the games, meaning these titles will still retain that indie feel, but be accessible to everyone. Listen to Alex's quote... he really believes it.

Pete5506
Pete5506

that dose not sound good

Montrealien
Montrealien

OH pls be something like Frequency or Amplitude! This is the best news all day for me :D Those games were amazing and nothing has come close to them for me...umm well beside Guitar Hero wich is the closest thing to a sequel to any of those two games a real Freqhead ever got. This is good news but I am ready to bet 200$ their next game has nothing to do with Guitars ;) And with EA and MTV baking them maybe games like Amplitude and Frequency will get the attention they deserve *Raises fist at sony*

usedtype
usedtype

Wow did noone see the MTV logo at the start of Guitar Hero? That game turned out great! I don't think MTV is involved anymore than the fact that they own Harmonix. I've got nothing up a lot of curiosity for this project and basically don't understand the hate. PS, yes, MTV does suck, but like I said, that's really got nothing to do with this game.

TheGreatGuero
TheGreatGuero

Wow. I expect this game to have the worst licensed soundtrack in video game history.

gamerfps
gamerfps

So, is "Hellgate: London" being published by EA AND Namco now? I'm confused.

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Hmm...since MTV's involved, I bet this has something to do with making your own moronic reality tv show. :D

alcarazo9
alcarazo9

MTV sucks and they should have nothing to do with games

Screamteam411
Screamteam411

I'm not sure what I just read. Too many companies. Let's just get us some quality Guitar Hero, eh?

EMAN2g
EMAN2g

they probably talking about teh Wii

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

Cut the crap you guys. Don't even act like you didn't see somthing like this happening.

vaejas
vaejas

I think every game should have guitar controller functionality in a Soundtrack-jam menu, just for kicks. Metal Gear theme? Guitar. Pokemon theme? Guitar. Vice City theme? Guitar. Final Fantasy theme? Guitar. Just grab a cross-console adapter and you're good. ;)

_Misanthrope
_Misanthrope

I guess we will have to see where this goes. Down the tubes is my guess.

AceCometh
AceCometh

More crap from EA. Sadly enough, people will still buy it, prompting EA to make more crap. It's a vicious cycle.

littlestreakier
littlestreakier

Frequency and Amplitude were amazing. I still love playing those games. Thank you mtv, never ever going to see any tool song or nine inch nails song now. You all are going to pick the worst songs from all the good bands albums and put them into one game.

Boggy_d
Boggy_d

That is an unholy alliance... the soundtrack will be lame and this game will blow!

2deluxe
2deluxe

Oh great now EA is trying get into the music games game. All these pathetic companies can try but they will never, ever match what Konami has done in Japan for the past 10 years with its Bemani line up. Expect the song list to suck. They will rely on licensed tracks. Unlike Konami however, they have talented musicians who make wonderful original music.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

MTV will destroy Guitar Hero has they destroyed themselves.

wraith808
wraith808

eduardjm, perhaps you should read again. This announcement doesn't affect GH2, but the fact that harmonix is now a MTV property does, since that means that the developers, ie the people that make GH are not making it anymore. The publishers have the rights to the game, but in no way are they responsible for making it. That is why activision gets to publish and make the money from GH2, but will GH3 or whatever else follows be as good? Who knows- it depends on how much NeverSoft can learn from the source and if they can craft as good a game... of course, if they're just going to template it, and stick in other songs, as long as the songs are translated correctly, it should be a no-brainer...

KuroriKenshin
KuroriKenshin

All Right! The New Harmonix game: MTV Reality TV Show X" Play as characters your favorite characters from TV shows no one cares about!

eduardjm
eduardjm

zerogravx, kingmyor, and all other confused parties, perhaps a little more reading is required.... activision is making guitar hero from now on, developed in house by neversoft.... harmonix no longer makes guitar heor, and along with mtv are making a new game on their own.....that's the game that will suck.... guitar hero is in no way affected y this announcement :)

MogFromLeipzig
MogFromLeipzig

I still have hopes that they will make a good game...

hhh44_2000
hhh44_2000

You guys don't get it. Guitar Hero is not being developed by Harmonix anymore. It's being developed by Neversoft. (GUN, Tony Hawk...i don't think they know jack **** about music, but w/e) Harmonix is making a brand NEW game w. MTV & EA funding the game. There was an interview with Harmonix a few weeks ago. Read the interview, and read what they really want to do. Good stuff/

burrfoot
burrfoot

Am I confused on this? Guitar Hero 1 & 2 was made by Harmonix. Their publisher who has the rights to Guitar Hero (it sounds to me) was bought by activision. Activision is having Neversoft do all further work on Guitar Hero. MTV bought Harmonix and is working with them on whatever their next project is. MTV is not going to have anything to do with Guitar Hero going forward. All this concern about MTV screwing up Guitar Hero looks a little unfounded to me since I don't think they have any involvement. Am I totally reading this wrong??

sigma8
sigma8

Accordion Hero!!!