Viacom reduces losses on Rock Band

Quarterly financials show increase in revenues for Media Networks division

Harmonix' parent company Viacom has posted flat revenues in its quarterly financial report, recording a total of $3.3 billion (£2.07 billion) in the quarter ending June 30, 2010 – compared to $3.29 billion during the same period in 2009.

The Media Networks division, which contains all of Viacom's videogame enterprises, posted revenues of $2.09 billion (£1.3 bn) compared to its takings of $1.97 billion (£1.23 bn) for the second quarter of last year. This was partly attributed to lower losses from the Rock Band franchise.

Operating income for the whole business was up 28 per cent to $794 million, compared to $619 million in the second quarter of 2009.

"This growth was led by a $97 million, or 14 per cent, increase in Media Networks operating income, which was driven by higher affiliate and advertising revenues as well as lower losses from Rock Band," said the company.

The Rock Band franchise has proved to be a costly experience for Viacom and MTV Games, with sales at retail failing to meet expectations. This lead to MTV requesting a return of some of the pre-emptive bonus it paid to Harmonix at the start of their partnership.

The most recent full retail Rock Band titles, LEGO Rock Band and The Beatles Rock Band, failed to buck the trend, whilst add-on Green Day Rock Band sold only 82,000 in its first month in North America, despite MTV hoping it would be bigger than The Beatles game.

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Latest comments (5)

Duncan Turner Ad Operations MAnager, Curse11 years ago
Thinking that Green Day Rock Band would be bigger than the Beatles Rock Band is sheer folly.
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Matthew Martin Associate Producer, Playground Games11 years ago
The problem they face with rock band is the initial investment consumers need to make on the band gear. It's far to high in the uk for something that to many is a party game. I have to says props for the devs as they're really push the rhythm action game forward with additions like the rock band network and continued support via DLC. I'm a big rock band fan and am looking forward to the next instalment. But having yet another instrument to invest in is likely to put people off. Let hope it works out for them as it would be a shame to see such a great IP gone.
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Damien Latt11 years ago
No wonder the sales for RB Greenday don't rise... Why whould you buy a rythm game to play basic powercords and borring drum parts? The Beatles : RB has some challenge for the singing parts plus the Beatles. Greenday has nothing.
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Show all comments (5)
Matthew Martin Associate Producer, Playground Games11 years ago
I wonder if they have made more money of RB Green Day than if they had just released the songs as DLC. The specific band version for rock band and guitar hero seem odd when you can so easily just release tracks as DLC. Surely it just reduces the market for what is probably now more of a niche market. I guess on the flip side of that these boxed products and their marketing highlight the rock band brand to the public which may increase sales of rock band 3 etc.
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Julian Toseland games podcaster/website 11 years ago
I think the big point in time for RB now, will be the pricing of these new instruments, the keyboard, and 2 new guitars, also to be competing with Kinect, and move, I think the pricing of these new peripherals will be a massive turning point in the whole RB franchise.
My personal thoughts, they simply can not afford to hit everybody with the original RB hardware prices, people have limits, in this economic climate now, and with all the other stuff coming, I think its the biggest decision they have had to make since its original release, I do however see the new guitar hero probably signaling the end for GH.
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