Today it was announced that Harmonix is joining Epic Games. In a post on their website Epic Games paid tribute to Harmonix’s track record of creating fun and engaging music experiences for everyone. The post goes on to state “The Harmonix team will collaborate closely with Epic to develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite while continuing to support existing titles including Rock Band 4.”
“Music is already bringing millions of people together in Fortnite, from our emotes to global concerts and events,” said Alain Tascan, Vice President of Game Development at Epic Games. “Together with the Harmonix team we will transform how players experience music, going from passive listeners to active participants.”
I am a big fan of rhythm games. I’ve played Harmonix’s Rock Band since it first released and before that Guitar Hero. They have also made other titles like Dance Central and FUSER. Their place as one of the finest developers of music games is undisputed
Fortnite is no stranger to concerts in Fortnite. Harmonix joining Epic Games shows that they have plans to make these experiences more interactive. When I first heard about this aquisition I was also quite excited for what it might mean for Rock Band 4 Rivals, which is heading towards Season 25 with plans for Season 26 underway. I was hopeful that we might get some new instruments as well since I’ve been forced to replace my Pro Drum cymbals through home brew methods.
Harmonix released a blog post of their own with some details for fans of their games. The general message is that nothing is changing at the moment. Rock Band Rivals and FUSER will still have their seasons and events, and Harmonix titles will still be available on Steam. Sadly for me the status quo will continue for Rock Band instruments with no current plans to produce more.
This is often the story where acquisitions are concerned. The acquired companies will say that nothing will change, but that is generally a short-term promise. No doubt things will change and some of those changes will be caused by Harmonix joining Epic Games.
The Rock Band Sub-Reddit had some mixed feelings.
Rumours abound that instead of Harmonix being a distinct entity within Epic Games, they will be integrated into the Fortnite team. If true that would mean that the future of Harmonix’s existing IP could be very bleak.
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