Epic Games buys Rock Band maker Harmonix to ‘reimagine how music is experienced, created and distributed’

Epic Games, the creator of the successful video game Fortnite and Unreal Engine, has acquired Harmonix, creator of the popular Rock band and Central dance franchises for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase of Boston-based music-related game studio Harmonix follows a period of successful fraternization with the music industry for Epic.

Epic’s flagship game Fortnite has served as a well-attended virtual video presentation and premiere space for several major stars, while its Unreal Engine is used as the basis for 3D music videos created by Sony Music’s Immersive Music Studios. .

However, Epic’s latest musical move might be the most ambitious yet.

Epic Games, which is backed by Sony Corp and has a valuation of more than $ 28 billion, says it will work closely with Harmonix “to develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite” and that Harmonix will continue to support existing titles, including Rock Band. Four.

Additionally, Epic states that since it works “to build the metaverse,” the “expertise of the Harmonix team is necessary to reimagine how music is experienced, created, and distributed.”

Harmonix was founded in 1995 by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy and was bought by Viacom in 2006 for $ 175 million.

Viacom sold Harmonix four years later to Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Columbus Nova, LLC.

Launched in 2007, the firm’s Rockband franchise surpassed $ 1 billion in revenue in 2009 and secured a major coup with the development and launch of The Beatles: rock band game, described by The New York Times at the time as “the most important video game ever made.”

Other Harmonix properties include the DROPMIX music mixing game developed in collaboration with Hasbro and The Dance Central franchise, which Harmonix claims “sets the standard for full-body motion gaming, with best-in-class detection and feedback in real time”.

So far, neither Epic nor Harmonix have shared anything about specific projects they are working on, but Harmonix says it will work with Epic to “defy expectations as we bring our unique brand of musical gaming experiences to the Metaverse.”

Harmonix added in a statement: “For the past 26 years we have strived to redefine how people experience and interact with music. From the early days of The Ax to Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central, our VR titles, FUSER, and everything in between, we’ve aspired to redefine what a music game can be. “

“Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most beloved interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do so on a grand scale.”

Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix

Alex Rigopulos, Co-Founder and President of Harmonix, said: “Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most beloved interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do so on a grand scale.

“Together we will push the creative limits of what is possible and invent new ways for our musicians to create, perform and share music.”

“Music is already bringing millions of people together at Fortnite, from our emotes to concerts and global events.”

Alain Tascan, Epic Games

Alain Tascan, Vice President of Game Development at Epic Games, added: “Music is already bringing millions of people together at Fortnite, from our emotes to concerts and global events.

“Together with the Harmonix team, we will transform the way players experience music, from passive listeners to active participants.”


Fortnite had more than 350 million registered players as of May 2020.

In September, Epic joined a $ 7 million funding round for the music licensing platform Lickd.Music business around the world

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