Rock Band, Dance Central Dev Harmonix Cuts 37 Jobs Amid "Restructuring"
"We sincerely appreciate the work of each and every one of these employees," Harmonix says; no in-development projects are affected.
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"Harmonix is in the process of restructuring our organization to bring it into alignment with our current and future product development plans," a Harmonix representative told GameSpot today. "Unfortunately, this means making the difficult decision to reduce the number of full-time staff. We sincerely appreciate the work of each and every one of these employees. Harmonix is working to ensure that those affected are well taken care of as we make this change."
As part of the move, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos has stepped aside from his role as chief executive and will now take over as chief creative officer. Filling his position as CEO is Steve Janiak, formerly the company's vice president of operations and publishing.
Venturebeat first reported the news today.
Harmonix's current development slate includes a new Amplitude for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Record Run for iOS, free-to-play music-based PC game Chroma, or the rumored Dance Central 4. Today's job cuts do not impact these games, Harmonix said.
In addition, Harmonix said that the job losses were not related to to Microsoft's recent decision to unbundle the Kinect from Xbox One packages starting June 9. Some Harmonix employees tweeted their apparent displeasure for the move when it was announced last month, but the company has since said that the platform change "doesn't affect our strategy."
Removing Kinect from Xbox One bundles would be potentially detrimental for Harmonix's Fantasia: Music Evolved, as it might mean there are fewer Xbox One consoles with Kinect in the wild, thus limiting the market opportunity for the game. However, Microsoft contends that the opposite will be true. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said removing Kinect from Xbox One bundles will, in the long run, lead to more Kinect cameras being sold overall.