Rock Band developer sold off by Viacom

Harmonix bought up by private holding company; says "unannounced projects" are on the way.


A month and a half ago, media giant Viacom announced its intention to sell off Harmonix, developer of the Rock Band games. Today, the company announced the deal is done, with Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC scooping up the studio for an undisclosed sum. The privately funded holding company is an affiliate of New York City-based investment firm Columbus Nova, LLC.

Harmonix is dancing to the beat of a new drummer.
Harmonix is dancing to the beat of a new drummer.

In a forum post, Harmonix issued a statement in which it assured Rock Band owners that the sale won't affect the regular downloadable content updates for its games, which also includes Kinect favorite Dance Central.

"We're excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio," read the post. "As for what it means for you, the DLC schedule marches on for Rock Band, we will continue our support of previously released titles, and we're hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you're going to be pumped about."

Harmonix also thanked Viacom and its subsidiary MTV Networks for being an "amazing home" since the studio was bought in 2006 for $175 million. The timing of the graciousness was curious, as just last week the original shareholders of Harmonix filed suit against Viacom, accusing the company of manipulating costs in order to deny performance bonus payments to Harmonix.

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