Business News Deals Digital

Fortnite maker buys Rock Band maker

By | Published on Friday 26 November 2021

Epic Games logo

Fortnite maker Epic Games announced earlier this week that it has bought Harmonix, the gaming firm behind the original ‘Guitar Hero’ games and, subsequently, the Rock Band franchise, and which – for a time back in the 2000s – was an MTV subsidiary.

Why is Epic getting itself some Harmonix goodness? Well, “Harmonix has a track record of creating fun and engaging music experiences designed for everyone to enjoy”. And, “as we work to build the metaverse, this expertise is needed to reimagine how music is experienced, created and distributed”.

The acquisition builds on Epic’s previous dabblings in music, most notably the virtual concerts within Fortnite. “The Harmonix team”, Epic’s announcement added, “will collaborate closely with Epic to develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite while continuing to support existing titles including ‘Rock Band 4′”.

In a blog post confirming the deal, Harmonix said: “This is a monumental day for the team, and one that wouldn’t have been possible without years of support from you, our fans – thank you!”

Name-checking the firm’s key games to date, the blog post added: “Over the last 26 years we have pushed ourselves to redefine how people experience and interact with music. From the earliest days of ‘The Axe’ to ‘Guitar Hero’, ‘Rock Band’, ‘Dance Central’, our VR titles, ‘Fuser’, and everything in between, we have aspired to redefine what a music game can be”.

And, looking to the future, it concluded: “Now, we’ll be working with Epic to once again challenge expectations as we bring our unique brand of musical gaming experiences to the metaverse, and we couldn’t be more excited”.

So, let the musical metaverse good times roll on, I guess. But not before some official quotes – don’t forget the official quotes!

Harmonix co-founder and Chairman Alex Rigopulos: “Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most beloved interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do this at scale. Together we will push the creative boundaries of what’s possible and invent new ways for our players to make, perform and share music”.

Epic’s VP For Game Development Alain Tascan: “Music is already bringing millions of people together in Fortnite, from our emotes to global concerts and events. Together with the Harmonix team we will transform how players experience music, going from passive listeners to active participants”.