Response to Questions about Viacom Selling Harmonix

HMXJohnDHMXJohnD Harmonix Developer & One Man Dance Party
edited January 2011 in Rock Band
Hi Guys:

We’ve seen a lot of questions pop up in response to Viacom's statements this morning regarding their intention to sell Harmonix. We’ve posted this thread to respond to those questions. Please keep your forum conversations regarding this matter in this thread. We’ll check in throughout the day as we’re able.

This morning’s announcement does not affect the ongoing work at the studio as we continue to support our existing franchises, Rock Band and Dance Central. As stated earlier, Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please post them in this thread. If you’re a member of the media with inquiry, you can reach out to us at [email]press@harmonixmusic.com[/email]. (Please don’t email this address if you’re not from a press outlet).

Comments

  • iNick64iNick64 Opening Act
    edited November 2010
    Well... If and When HMX gets sold... would you guys still have the IP for rockband/dance central? or would that belong to Viacom/MTV Games?
  • geo731geo731 Opening Act
    edited November 2010
    Will the music licenses transport with Harmonix during the sale and will the agreement with Madcatz continue? Also, how does this affect rockband network?
  • PeppersPeppers Opening Act
    edited November 2010
    Does this mean DLC stops after that point viacom doesn't care anymore?
  • GuyOneGuyOne Opening Act
    edited November 2010
    Is one of the potential buyers Microsoft? If so will they get exclusive rights to publish future games and DLC on Xbox only?
  • jtrousdjtrousd Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    I think the most pertinent question that needs to be answered is one of continuity -- will Rock Band disappear after the sale? Or will you guys take it with you to your new developer? Or, worst-case scenario, will Viacom foolishly split you guys from the game and sell you separately?

    I'd probably request a carpet bomb of Viacom HQ if they did the last bit.
  • chasenmuskychasenmusky Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    Hopefully everything works out for the best! Thank you guys and good luck!
  • QuastorQuastor Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    I put this in the previous thread, but I'll reiterate here.

    1) When selling a company, executives don't just make the decision the night before a 10-Q filing is made and add it in. This has been in the works for MONTHS, and is completely isolated from any sales figures/forum backlash against RB3 and/or Dance Central.

    2) In the Wall Street Journal article, the Viacom CEO talks about divesting from video games. So there's pretty much zero chance they'll hold onto the Rock Band or Dance Central IP. It's worth more to Viacom sold than keeping it in their portfolio. Considering what happened when HMX and the Guitar Hero brand split, any potential buyers of the IP would be well warned to keep HMX tied to it if any success with the brand is to be ensured.

    3) It's rumored that next week is a Bee-Gee's pack including "Stayin' Alive." I do not think this is in any way a coincidence. HMX knew the 10-Q filing would be out around this time, and is clearly trying to send a message to us all without having any official statement made.
  • SyphusSyphus Opening Act
    edited November 2010
    Is this because Harmonix refused to do Carson Daly Rock Band: TRL edition?
  • princeofcupsprinceofcups Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    Rockstar. Just let it be Rockstar.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    HMXJohnD;4171164 said:
    support the business until a sale is completed.

    The implication there is that support for the business ends when the sale is completed. Think that's a sign that Viacom is keeping the IP.
  • jjdude1jjdude1 Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    1. Will Harmonix continue to work on Rock Band/Dance Central when they are sold?

    2. Will Harmonix continue to work on DLC when they are sold?

    3. Will Harmonix lose any old music license's it had, and how will this affect old DLC?

    I just want to make sure that Harmonix being sold to any other distibutor won't affect Rock Band in any huge way.
  • LordQuaLordQua Unsigned
    edited November 2010
    Did a majority of the licensing issues of disc and DLC songs come from MTV games? Will it now be harder to acquire the licenses to produce DLC?
  • valeskaleneuxvaleskaleneux Unsigned
    edited November 2010
    chasenmusky;4171191 said:
    Hopefully everything works out for the best! Thank you guys and good luck!

    A million times this :)
  • babywolfmanbabywolfman Unsigned
    edited November 2010
    I think I'm awesome

    But on the real, as they say, can we just get a yes or no to "does HMX own Rock Band?"
  • edited November 2010
    My offer stands, $5000 plus a stake in my bake sale proceeds for the next 5 years.
  • RenrockRenrock Too bland to be banned
    edited November 2010
    Will the future buyer of Harmonix also get all the intellectual properties it has created over the years such as John Drake?
  • ShreddedShredded Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    thatmarkguy;4171195 said:
    The implication there is that support for the business ends when the sale is completed. Think that's a sign that Viacom is keeping the IP.
    Thikn you're misunderstanding that quote.

    Someone else will support the product after the sale.
  • PankrazzoPankrazzo Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
  • RenrockRenrock Too bland to be banned
    edited November 2010
    Apples;4171203 said:
    My offer stands, $5000 plus a stake in my bake sale proceeds for the next 5 years.

    Maybe we could get a community pool going. :p
  • ShreddedShredded Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    Bringing this over from the previous thread because it still makes me tee hee.
    Since we're just making it up as we go, here's a funny one for you:

    Suppose Activision buys it and then we get Soundgarden and RHCP back.

    That would be amusing.
  • babywolfmanbabywolfman Unsigned
    edited November 2010
    thatmarkguy;4171195 said:
    The implication there is that support for the business ends when the sale is completed. Think that's a sign that Viacom is keeping the IP.

    Maybe I'm just a "glass half empty" guy, but that's the way I read that, too. Here's hoping we're wrong.
  • jtrousdjtrousd Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    I may just buy every piece of DLC from here on out.
  • etlikesreesesetlikesreeses Unsigned
    edited November 2010
    thatmarkguy;4171195 said:
    The implication there is that support for the business ends when the sale is completed. Think that's a sign that Viacom is keeping the IP.

    Not really. All it means is that even though Viacom is looking to sell Harmonix, the studio and Rock Band will still have the company resources at their disposal until they no longer belong to Viacom. In other words, they're not kicking the studio or the IP to the curb before they're sold.

    I actually get the opposite impression; the Viacom doesn't want the studio or the IP, and is just fulfilling their obligations as owners until they can sell both. I guess we'll see how it plays out.
  • Electric_ZenElectric_Zen Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    Quastor;4171192 said:
    3) It's rumored that next week is a Bee-Gee's pack including "Stayin' Alive." I do not think this is in any way a coincidence. HMX knew the 10-Q filing would be out around this time, and is clearly trying to send a message to us all without having any official statement made.

    Unfortunately, the pack also includes the single Tragedy. Clearly the audio team planned this release to coincide with the 10-Q filing, and is intended to tell us that this announcement augments nothing but despair and ruin.
  • HuckleCatHuckleCat Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    Is it Activison, and if so, will there be an "exodus" of "main" people leaving the company? I'd hate for this all to end with a hollow shell of a name brand being bastardized by NeverSoft.

    I hear the people who own Bethesda are currently into buying new devs.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    Shredded;4171206 said:
    Thikn you're misunderstanding that quote.

    Someone else will support the product after the sale.

    That's exactly my concern. That's exactly what I read into it. That someone else will support the product after the sale.

    If the product was staying with HMX, they would continue to support it even after the sale.

    If someone else will be supporting the product after the sale, the implication is that the product is not HMX property and will not be included in the sale. Viacom will probably outsource 'support' (a call center), but this would appear to be the end of support as we know it - DLC and software patches.
  • FlawlessFlawless First Poster
    edited November 2010
    Not sure Viacom wants to hold onto the IP considering they are leaving the video games business.
  • jtrousdjtrousd Road Warrior
    edited November 2010
    HuckleCat;4171225 said:
    Is it Activison, and if so, will there be an "exodus" of "main" people leaving the company? I'd hate for this all to end with a hollow shell of a name brand being bastardized by NeverSoft.

    I hear the people who own Bethesda are currently into buying new devs.

    Man... imagine if one of the kings of RPGs bought Rock Band. I bet they could do some interesting stuff :P
  • QuastorQuastor Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    Electric_Zen;4171224 said:
    Unfortunately, the pack also includes the single Tragedy. Clearly the audio team planned this release to coincide with the 10-Q filing, and is intended to tell us that this announcement augments nothing but despair and ruin.

    The pack also included You Should Be Dancing, which is an obvious signal that HMX is shifting from RB to focus solely on Dance Central.
  • AndyyAndyy Rising Star
    edited November 2010
    No matter what happens, if this spells the end of RB or another company buys HMX and RB over, then I'm praying you release "Don't Start A Band" - Reel Big Fish as DLC. Would be perfect.
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