MTV to acquire Guitar Hero developer

Harmonix Music Systems to become latest member of the Viacom media empire; price set at $175 million in cash.

Guitar Hero has made a lot of people very, very rich. In May, Activision announced that it had purchased the publisher of the game, RedOctane; a pickup that cost the company $100 million. Today, MTV Networks announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Guitar Hero's development studio, Harmonix Music Systems, for $175 million in cash.

The move represents another step into gaming for MTV parent company Viacom. The media giant has previously been rumored as contemplating takeovers of Electronic Arts and Midway (of which Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone owns a considerable amount of stock). As for steps it has actually taken into the gaming sector, the company acquired Xfire earlier this year for $102 million.

This is not the first time MTV has involved itself with the Guitar Hero brand. Last November, it announced an agreement with RedOctane to feature Guitar Hero (as well as future installments of the series) in original programming, creative promotions, and competitions on its array of cable channels and Web sites.

While the Harmonix hit du jour may be Guitar Hero, the studio has developed a number of successes, including the cult PlayStation 2 rhythm games Frequency and Amplitude, as well as Konami's Karaoke Revolution series. Harmonix's next game to hit the market, Guitar Hero 2 for the PS2, is expected to arrive in stores this November.

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96 comments
Fanible
Fanible

DuaneDog doesn't know how to do math.

mehoff88
mehoff88

SELL OUTS!!!!!!!!!! Its amazing that people still know what MTV is. I would rather watch Lifetime then MTV. I would rather be kicked in the giggle berries over and over again then watch MTV. 175 million??? How many ways do u think that got split?

hello12367890
hello12367890

MTV will kill guitar hero they promoted all of the sucks music like rap and emo if there is one emo song on that game they can just suck my ballls cause emo music is for **** who like to wear girl pants and eye liner and plus everybody knows emo bands have no talent

EverAB
EverAB

I REALLY hope the next guitar hero won't include sh*tty Greenday songs.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

$175 MILLION???? Man that is a a LOT of freakin' money!!!! If you figure they could make even $50 PROFIT per unit they would have to sell 5 million per year for seven years to even hit a break even on that investment!! Then when you read all the other money they are shelling out, that is just crazy to me. I'm sure they know what they are doing but it would seem to me that if you were MTV you could produce a guitar hero equivelent for a lot less than $175 million dollars!!!

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

MTV getting into SOMETHING to do with music? Did they buy a time machine or something? Here I thought MTV's only purpose was to further the extreme vanity in 14-21 year olds?

DesRed
DesRed

Wow. MTV seems to be on a buying spree lately. They've bought another company (can't remember what it was) a year or two back so it comes as no surprise to me.

_Sam_
_Sam_

I hope they do good things

Speerbrecker
Speerbrecker

Man does this mean that harmonix is moving out of boston and only doing reality based games without music now???????

gradius2dx
gradius2dx

MTV buying out Harmonix won't kill Guitar Hero's popularity. MTV, to millions of teens, is the nicotine of cable TV and will only make GH more popular. "There's no such thing as a corporation with heart. They are all the same. Money is the name of the game in their world." Chironex, go move to North Korea or Cuba, and don't ever come back.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

Nice one 2deluxe! I know you were trying to be funny with your proposed MTV lineups but the really funny (and sad) thing is that you might not be far off from the truth. I'm hoping this franchise can withstand the overwhelming "input" that MTV will bring to the table. I'm still holding on to some small shred of hope. *fingers crossed*

ChrisMx2
ChrisMx2

NO! MTV will ruin Guitar Hero.

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

so will it feature the MTV-patented same 8 songs in an endless loop, spliced with a 50-50 ratio of shouty adverts? cool!

2deluxe
2deluxe

"one of the main guys behind this game sounds like he would fight any attempts at putting in any crap pop music" Consider himself fired lol. Unfortunately, the owners are far more powerful than the developers. If the whole team quits in rebelion, they'll hire new people in a heartbeat as there are folks out there who can easily take over the job. Looks like Konami will get the refuges from this change, they should have been the company of your choice for music games in the first place. MTV has already announced its latest GH mixes. Guitar Hero feat. TRL faves Guitar Hero Presents the best of Sissy Rock Guitar Hero Presents the best of VH1 (with music from John Mayer, The Frey, and of course Daniel Powter)

Amoricide
Amoricide

Sure, the added budget and exposure will be nice, but maybe we should be concerned at least a little. If history really does repeat itself, then it's only a matter of time before Guitar Hero turns into a crappy reality show.

Vertebreaker2k1
Vertebreaker2k1

I can't remember the last time I've seen so many whiny babies. So what if MTV acquires Harmonix? All it means is Harmonix will now have an even bigger budget, a far easier time obtaining licenses, a chance to reach more people via mulit-platforming, and a chance to attract more gamers with different musical styles. You guys seem to forget that while MTV does play a lot of pop and rap, they also have quite a bit of rock shows, with some pretty solid stuff on them. They're not going to put rap in Guitar Hero, and they're not going to put pop songs with two guitar chords in Guitar Hero. Stop acting like it's the end of the world. I look forward to the change. I, for one, don't really care for a good deal of the songs in Guitar Hero II...or the original, for that matter. I respect the oldies, but just don't care to play many of them. I'd rather play lesser known, current stuff, than some song by Alabama that was cool maybe thirty years ago. I welcome the chance for Harmonix to be able to broaden the musical range (like they did in GH2, by adding A7X and Lamb Of God). And, hey, if you don't like it...no one's forcing you to buy it. There's going to be different guitar games coming out now. Buy those instead. No use *****ing about something you can't change. Roll with the punches, suck it up, et cetera...and stop acting like three year olds.

gamestar412
gamestar412

I'm sure purists will be up in arms over MTV taking over but lets look at it this way, with both MTV and Activision the GH name will have some credability amongst many suits that don't know the liscense. With a name brand backing them they could sign even better deals and getter better songs. There will never be any pop or rap in the game unless there's a guitar in it so no need to worry about that.

Rmadilo
Rmadilo

Well, there goes the series. I'm not looking forward Guitar Hero 3 in which you'll have to play along with Good Charlotte while MTV logos fly around the screen.

McDog3
McDog3

I truly am hoping this won't lead to too much pop. Then again, it would sell less that way anyways and MTV would later realize to take it out for the next game....

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

I wouldn't worry to much about that happening 2deluxe , I read an article on the game that EGM did and one of the main guys behind this game sounds like he would fight any attempts at putting in any crap pop music.

mrjasler
mrjasler

also another thing.. activision own the rights to the guitar hero name, so they will have to find another developer now to make the game. So MTV will buy this developer for 175 mill and maybe call it MTV hero or something.. the game will have to sell like crazy to get that money back

mrjasler
mrjasler

Ok , anyone know how many copies Guitar hero sold? I know for sure it didn't sell more than 10 million. 5 Million is probably more like it, which would be an incredible number considering everyone has to buy the guitar. So if the games sells for 70 bucks with the guitar , 50 without the guitar, the 20 bucks they don't make any money off that.. let's look at how much profit they make from each game.. from the 50 bucks, i would say 10 of it goes to manufacturing.. 25 of it goes to the store for their profit.. so the end profit for the publisher was probably around 15 bucks. 15 x 5,000,000 copies sold, that is only 75 million dollars profit? okay say guitar hero sold 10 million thats still just 150 million in profit... so buying a dev company for 175 million , you better hope they release another major hit or the deal is crazy!

2deluxe
2deluxe

Sweet, there's allways Guitar Revolution to come to. Konami will cater that game to your tastes if you think GuitarFreaks is too foreign. MTV and Viacom will offend many fans of the game. Why? Because they will force their influences and we all know how much everyone hates MTV here. I can see it now, the theme song to "My Super Sweet 16" in the game for Guitar Hero 3 lol!

PainKiller_25
PainKiller_25

Sucks,like MTV ASWEEL, IF THE GAME FEATURES ACTUAL MUSIC XP

vix
vix

I hope all this "buying out" and such doesn't screw the series...

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

Why do I have the feeling that only bad things will come of this?

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

mrjasler: "Guitar Hero was a good game, but seriously the developer is not worth 175 million? I feel it is such an over hyped game and when the next game is released the game will not sell enough units to warrant a purchase of such magnitude. I thought when activision bought red octane they were getting the developer and the rights to the name guitar hero as well.. you pay 100 million for just the name Guitar Hero? what a rip off.. and you don't get the developer as well... oh gee" . You just know Activision must be livid over this brilliant and underhanded move by MTV. RedOctane is now officially nutured. Who knows, maybe sue happy Activision will sue someone over this and in turn be countersued back. I'm still chuckling at how much shaft and bad publicity Activision has taken this past week with their TAC unlicensed guitar debacle.

Chironex
Chironex

There's no such thing as a corporation with heart. They are all the same. Money is the name of the game in their world. As for this latest move, I've got a bad feeling about it.

datarez
datarez

Part of me is worried, but it'll probably be fine. MTV was a partner involved with Sony and Harmonix on Frequency and it didn't seem to effect it. Hopefully it only adds to the future song lists in Harmonix games, in a good way.

tr00pa_26
tr00pa_26

natatawa sa aking kaibigan at nagagarap ang boung mundo wala na raw tayong mga kabataan sa ating mga ulo

lewser5
lewser5

This doesn't look good for the Guitar Hero franchise. It would be too many people dipping their hands into the mix.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

mtv?? i dont really see why they would get into games

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

Since when was MTV 'rockstar'-esque, in GTA or rock 'n' roll terms? MTV stopped being cool in the 1990's. When Beavis and Butthead died/got old. If this doesn't effect the GH series, sure. But if they start charging large amounts of money for their work due to MTV's ownership, then screw them. I preferred them being a pair of independant companies, whether or not we've now been promised multiplatform games.

badass_gamer
badass_gamer

I don't care as long as MTV let's the developer's do what they need to do. Otherwise this could be a bad situation for Guitar Hero.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Ugh... I can't see this being a good thing for the Guitar Hero series.

JBiker51
JBiker51

Dude, MTV taking over EA... If that happened, maybe EA wouldn't be such a heartless corporation and instead see things the rockstar way. :)

No_asylum
No_asylum

Does that mean its going to be a reality show now. Does MTV still play music video's. LOL

InfinityTomorro
InfinityTomorro

its cool with me as long as MTV doesnt paste their image all over the game as in-game advertising.

bminns
bminns

hopefully this is good for harmonix

Korubi
Korubi

I hope MTV doesn't effect how Harmonix makes games, and they can still make quality. mrjasler said: Guitar Hero was a good game, but seriously the developer is not worth 175 million? You know how much money Guitar Hero made? A TON. It really doesn't so much have to do with the quality of the game. It's how much money they can make buy owning the developer...and it's way more than the $175 million they're paying for the purchase of the developer.

mad_max01
mad_max01

You all are looking at this the wrong way. Who gives a damn if this gets bought by this guy or that company. Let's look at it this way: MTV+Guitar Hero= More Songs. MTV has many albums and artist in their pocket. Do you know how many Albums MTV has bought to show on their channel? One year from now you'll see Guitar Hero 3 with 300 tracks instead of 50. How cool is that?

mrjasler
mrjasler

Guitar Hero was a good game, but seriously the developer is not worth 175 million? I feel it is such an over hyped game and when the next game is released the game will not sell enough units to warrant a purchase of such magnitude. I thought when activision bought red octane they were getting the developer and the rights to the name guitar hero as well.. you pay 100 million for just the name Guitar Hero? what a rip off.. and you don't get the developer as well... oh gee

spydrman5472
spydrman5472

If MTV truly takes over Guitar Hero the game won't even have any music in it. Just like their TV channels.

hungfar
hungfar

This might not be a total disaster as long as MTV has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GAMES THAT MATTER. Like the Guitar Hero franchise. MTV's forays into rock and metal are always laughable and insulting.

dandoc2
dandoc2

never know - maybe bring guitar hero to some other platforms e.g 360