MTV Games has 'ceased publishing operations'

Label behind Rock Band officially out of the publishing game, but "has not been completely dissolved," according to reps.

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Last week, a report out of the UK had MTV Games being closed down following the sale of Rock Band developer Harmonix to a private equity group. Today, reps for MTV Networks made it official--the label is no longer in the publishing game but still exists--for the time being, anyway.

MTV Games still exists, but it is out of the game-publishing game.
MTV Games still exists, but it is out of the game-publishing game.

"MTV Games has ceased its publishing operations but has not been completely dissolved," a rep told GameSpot.

MTV's official line jibes mostly with an article last week from British trade site MCV, which had MTV Games' international offices closed down, with a skeleton crew remaining at its New York City headquarters. No mention was made of the MTV Games "incubation" substudio created in collaboration with prolific film producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean).

The cessation of publishing effectively marks the end of MTV Games' four-and-a-half-year experiment with the gaming industry. It began in September 2006, when MTV parent Viacom bought Harmonix for $175 million dollars plus a generous bonus structure. However, initial success gave way to unprofitability by 2009.

Soon, Viacom was seeking a refund for bonuses paid to Harmonix even before Rock Band 3 launched last October. By November, Viacom announced its intention to sell off the division, which it did in December for a reportedly tiny sum.

For more on Rock Band 3, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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