Epic Games (Fortnite) has acquired Harmonix, the game developer behind Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Harmonix announced yesterday that it has joined the Epic Games developer family. They’ve created other music-focused games like Dance Central, FUSER, and others. Harmonix said it will work with Epic Games to “challenge expectations and bring our unique brand of music gaming experiences to the metaverse.”
Fortnite has launched what can be a metaverse – a digital gathering place where users hang out. Now it looks like the technology behind Rock Band and Guitar Hero could be applied to future hangouts. Imagine Epic Games announcing a drum jam session with Dave Grohl or a shredding competition with Slash, all built in a digital world with products to buy.
What does this mean for the Rock Band DLC?
Harmonix says it will continue with its existing DLC plans for Rock Band. But there does not appear to be any intention of making any more Rock Band instruments for the current generation hardware. VR FUSER events will remain live and all other games in Harmonix’s portfolio will continue to function as they currently do.
Harmonix says his team is focused on creating musical experiences for Fortnite under the umbrella of Epic Games.
“While we’re not ready to share details, the whole team is incredibly excited to get started. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are interesting entries into the gaming world. They took the world by storm in the late 2000s, with Guitar Hero 3 taking the series’ success to new heights. But the instrument hardware required to play the games does not work with current generation consoles.
Music has become an increasingly important part of the Fortnite business model.
The video game has hosted concerts by Travis Scott and Ariana Grande. The acquisition of Harmonix is only an extension of this objective, according to to Alain Tascan, vice president of game development at Epic.
“Music already brings millions of people together on Fortnite, from our emoticons to concerts and global events. With the Harmonix team, we’ll transform the way players experience music, from passive listeners to active participants.