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Harmonix goes independent funded by private investment firm

Rock Band and Dance Central developer "retuning to its roots" as Viacom offloads music studio

Dance Central and Rock Band creator Harmonix has confirmed it is now effectively an independent developer following a sale to investment firm Columbus Nova.

The New York-based investor has established a new business subsidiary, Harmonix SBE Holdings LLC and said that "it is really excited about backing the world-class team that has consistently produced such great games and helping them grow the company and its brands."

Viacom announced in November it was to sell the game developer after continued poor performance in the music genre. It bought Harmonix in 2006 for $175 million and the team went on to launch Guitar Hero rival Rock Band with MTV Games.

But the series has never lived up to sales expectations despite critical acclaim, and a legal wrangle with the shareholders over bonus payments has blighted the relationship.

Harmonix was upbeat about the new move and acknowledged the support it had received from the media giant over the past four years.

"Viacom and MTV Networks have been an amazing home for us over the past four years. It's where we launched both Rock Band and Dance Central, worked with The Beatles, Green Day, AC/DC, The Who and thousands of other artists. We want to take a moment to thank everyone in that organisation who helped make these awesome games possible."

"We're excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately-owned studio."

The company is currently working on DLC for Rock Band as well as some unannounced projects.

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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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