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Epic Games has acquired Rock Band and Dance Central maker Harmonix Systems, GamesBeat has learned.
Epic has experienced a frenzy of acquisitions over the past year as it has raised over $ 1 billion to invest in the Metaverse, and Harmonix has content that should help it achieve that goal. The Boston-based company has been dedicated to creating musical video games for decades. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney wants to build the metaverse. Update: Epic Games has confirmed the deal.
The metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds which are all interconnected, as in novels such as Snow accident and Loan Player One. And Epic CEO Tim Sweeney wants to build it as an open platform. Meanwhile, the Harmonix games will help Epic add musical elements to Fortnite (which is Epic’s de facto metaverse platform).
Here’s what our own Jeff Grubb wrote about Harmonix in 2014:
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Alex Rigopulos founded Harmonix in 1995 with Eran Egozy. While attending MIT, the two co-developed an algorithm that could generate music on the fly and began to think about how they could use it for games. In 2001, the company partnered with Sony Computer Entertainment to create Frequency, a rhythm game in which players travel an octagonal highway of musical notes. The studio followed Frequency with Amplitude in 2003.
“Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most popular interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do so on a large scale,” Rigopoulos, president, said in a statement. “Together, we will push the creative limits of what is possible and invent new ways for our musicians to create, play and share music.”
Grubb also wrote:
In the following years, the company released more musical hits like Karaoke Revolution before releasing the hit novel Guitar Hero. This game came with a plastic guitar controller that required players to scratch and press buttons along the neck along with the on-screen prompts. He attracted a large following far beyond the typical gamers.
Harmonix then developed two more Guitar Hero games before publisher Activision moved development to its Neversoft and Vicarious Visions studios. This prompted Harmonix’s most ambitious release, Rock Band, which took the idea of Guitar Hero and turned it into a local multiplayer game with multiple people on different instruments and vocals.
Rock Band has become a successful board game. Harmonix has developed and released several suites and sold hundreds of different songs as downloadable content. After Rock Band 3 in 2010, however, the market for music games with plastic instruments dried up. The studio switched to Kinect-controlled motion games like Dance Central, which worked well for Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
The company is now trying to integrate musical concepts into several different genres as it looks for ways to stay relevant on consoles as well as PCs, smartphones and tablets. Since then he has worked on titles like Fuser, Drop Mix, SingSpace, etc.
Today, Epic and Harmonix talked about their possibilities.
“Music already brings together millions of people in Fortnite, from our emotions to concerts and global events, ”said Alain Tascan, vice president of game development at Epic Games, in a statement. “Together with the Harmonix team, we will transform the way players experience music, from passive listeners to active participants. “
Harmonix has a reputation for creating fun and engaging musical experiences designed for everyone to enjoy. Epic said that as they work to build the Metaverse, this expertise is needed to reimagine how music is experienced, created, and distributed.
The Harmonix team will work closely with Epic to develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite while continuing to support existing titles including Rock Band 4. Here’s another article on Harmonix Blog for more details.
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