Rock Band developer Harmonix cuts jobs ahead of the holidays

Cambridge, Mass. developer Harmonix hands out pink slips ahead of the holidays to "small number" of employees due to "shifting staffing priorities."

Rock Band and Dance Central developer Harmonix today confirmed a modest staff reduction, cutting a "small number" of jobs ahead of the holidays due to "shifting staffing priorities."

"We can confirm that a small number of Harmonix employees were let go today," a Harmonix representative told GameSpot after Joystiq broke the news. "This decision was made due to shifting staffing priorities for Harmonix's multiple future projects."

It is unclear how many developers total lost their jobs today or what the company's current headcount is.

This is not the first round of job losses at the Cambridge, Mass. developer this year. The studio also cut a small number of jobs in April, using the same exact quote to describe the cullings as the statement issued today.

Harmonix is currently working on the Xbox-exclusive Fantasia: Music Evolved, but also has other unannounced projects in the works, including possibly a combat-themed game. The studio is not ostensibly looking to staff up significantly, as the outfit only has one open position posted to its website.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

42 comments
Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Recycled statements for laying off employees? *Ugh*.

Jigen32
Jigen32

My girlfriend got let go on April Fools day. great prank huh...

pszone
pszone

Mirosoft would put them out business    by next year .

tightwad34
tightwad34

Where is the future for Rock Band now? Everything seems to be going digital and that sucks. I especially hate voice synthesisors.worst things to happen to music in a long time(other than the whole commercialism and selling out thing).

helldragonzer
helldragonzer

So the way to handle "multiple projects" is to cut staff, yeah I ain't looking forward to their future.

JohnMafia
JohnMafia

It sucks whenever anyone loses their job. But that's a reality in every business. People lose their jobs and its never a good time for that to happen. The game industry is notoriously volatile. Let's not go more bleeding heart than necessary for these guys and demonize the "evil corporation". 

jaifrecap
jaifrecap

What people don't realize is that some people tend to go a little crazy when it comes to Christmas shopping. 

What if they were fired on the first week of January, after they spend a lot of money on gifts and would be broke.

By letting them go before Christmas, they will spend less but at least they wouldn't be screwed and in debt a month later.

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

They're assholes for doing that just before Christmas.

DIGN
DIGN

That really sucks, I don't know what I'd do if GameSpot fired me before Christmas.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

Still waiting for the Kiss Psycho Circus Edition complete with fake Gene Simmons Tongue!

megakick
megakick

Why is this even news anymore? That is life you do a job as well as anybody else or less they fire you. Job security, do more than you have to. I am so sure companies love it when employees shop on AMAZON and post on FACEBOOK on company time. Guess what, don't be a pleb and maybe you get to keep your job.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I forgot Harmonix was still around. Hopefully those that lost their jobs will quickly find employment elsewhere.

LittleMac19
LittleMac19

Lol that's sad, couldn't atleast wait until after the holidays.

Ereheru
Ereheru

I feel bad for those who lost their jobs...I remember one company I worked at had an announcement that everybody was getting the last 2 weeks of December off with pay, then getting called into the CFO's office to be told "Not you, you are getting laid off and please do not show up at the Christmas party..."


The company was out of business in 3 months, so I guess it would have happened anyway, but it would have been kinder if they laid me off before the "paid 2 weeks off" announcement...

Fanible
Fanible

"Merry Christmas everyone!  Now go **** yourself."

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

Man that really sucks. Best wishes to those without a job right now. 

scottp61
scottp61

Bells will be ringing the sad, sad news...

obsequies
obsequies

I got laid off before christmas before, very stressful. Condolences 

Harbinger_CR
Harbinger_CR

These kinda news are always unfortunate to hear; I hope that those who lost their jobs can manage to find a better one and enjoy their Christmas.

zerofrust
zerofrust

"shifting staffing priorities."=more holidays bonus for the rest of us.

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

If I were one of them gotten laid off:

"Merry Christmas you filthy animal!" *bang bang bang bang* "And a Happy New Year." *bang*

karnis
karnis

merry fucking christmas

soulless4now
soulless4now

Hot damn, it took me a few seconds to realize that was Yen Sid. D: 

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I feel like Fantasia should've been a launch title for the XBO.  It just seems like one of those games that's better suited for it, not to mention the launch is close to the holiday season, AND Disney has Frozen(which did big numbers at the box office) and Saving Mr. Banks(which is getting a lot of praise) coming out before the end of the year so there could've been some cross-promotion via pre-movie trailers if Disney wanted to entertain that idea.

helldragonzer
helldragonzer

and what if they already spent crazy amounts of money on Black Friday, just because it wasn't on Christmas doesn't mean they aren't already in debt, and besides you just don't fire people on Christmas, at least tell them before hand what's coming, maybe a couple of weeks in advance to prepare for what's coming.

ElusiveOne
ElusiveOne

@megakick Well somebody is having an excess of empathy today.  It's not always that easy.


Obviously you don't work in this industry or you would know that these companies use plenty other excuses to fire people and it's rarely just because they're lazy.  Of course if you're going to make cuts you'll probably pick the ones that are less productive but that's only one part of the equation.

megakick
megakick

@ElusiveOne @megakick Ooh sure that must be why the CEO make so much money because companies feel they are replaceable? Whether you a garbage man or a computer jockey if you are the best at it you keep it. Lets be real your not benefiting the company they probably going to fire you it is not a charity.

Then you have include SECOND HAND GAMES are in high demand so how can you say bad company for cutting jobs when consumers are hurting the industry just as much as the companies?

scottp61
scottp61

Snakes: Acey said I'd get severance. Acey said 10 percent.

Johnny: Too bad Acey ain't in charge no more.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

I think it's semantics.  Whether you're 'fired' for poor job performance, or 'let go' through no fault of your own, you've still been canned.


Prospective employers won't care that you've been laid off through no fault of your own.  The stigma is still there.  You may as well have been 'fired'.

megakick
megakick

@ElusiveOne @megakick How many successful businesses have a heart? You think Sony has a heart? If Sony does anything nice it is for good PR.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@ElusiveOne @megakick  I think you guys are lumping being fired and being laid off into the same category, when they are actually two very different things.  People get laid off all the time, and the timing is hardly heartless, it's just a fact of some industries.  I myself just got laid off a week ago but I don't write slanted news reports to make it sounds like my employer wronged me.  I simply look for a new job and put my past experience on my record as I move forward.  There are programs such as Employment Insurance in place for exactly such scenarios.

ElusiveOne
ElusiveOne

@megakick Your comment is a bit all over the place, so I'll just end by saying that cutting jobs just before the holidays is a bit of a heartless thing to do, regardless of how you operate your business.