In a surprise announcement, cable television channel MTV has announced it is to acquire developer Harmonix Music Systems in a deal worth $175 million, making the studio part of the MTV Networks' Music and LOGO Enterprises unit, led by executive vice president Jeff Yapp.
Harmonix have had a long history of critically acclaimed, largely music related titles, including Amplitude
and EyeToy: AntiGrav
for Sony and the Karaoke Revolution
series for Konami.
However, none of these games have proven significant commercial successes until the release of Guitar Hero
last year for publisher RedOctane (itself recently acquired by Activision
"The acquisition of Harmonix will deepen MTV's connection to its audience via on-line, mobile and console music gaming, and expand the relationship with both labels and artists through the creation of games based on classic songs as well as future album releases," said MTV President Christina Norman. "Harmonix's technology allows everyone to pursue their rock and roll fantasies, even people like me, with more musical ambition than actual talent."
Harmonix founder Alex Rigopulos and CTO Eran Egozy will both remain with the company and continue in their roles, with no apparent adjustments being made to the studio's future output, MTV already having been a partner with the studio for Guitar Hero
, providing "original programming, creative promotions and competitions across a number of MTV's multi-platform properties."