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EA to distribute Rock Band 3

Publisher extends deal with Viacom after initial doubts of renewed partnership

After initial doubts about its involvement in future releases, Harmonix has confirmed that Electronic Arts is due to distribute MTV and Viacom's Rock Band 3 this Christmas.

Earlier in the year Viacom had said that it was still in negotiations over a future distribution deal for its Rock Band series, after slower than expected sales hit the franchise and its big Beatles tie-in failed to meet expectations.

"Harmonix is developing Rock Band 3 for worldwide release this holiday season," announced Harmonix on the game's official Facebook page. "The game, which will be published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts, will innovate and revolutionise the music genre once again, just as Harmonix did with the original Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and The Beatles: Rock Band."

Electronic Arts had said that it intended to release less third-party titles through its EA Partners business due to low margins, although along with a new Rock Band deal it has just signed up digital titles from Hothead and Klei, and 38 Studios' RPG Project Mercury.

The music genre as a whole slumped in 2009, prompting Viacom to admit it would be more selective with the content it releases for future Rock Band games.

Both the Rock Band and the rival Guitar Hero series' are now focusing on selling digital downloads for the games, rather than new iterations of the expensive plastic peripherals that accompany the titles.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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