Activision silent over Harmonix buyout

Activision has spoken of its love for Rock Band developer Harmonix but refused to speak about a possible acquisition.

Last month Viacom announced plans to sell off Harmonix, the studio which created the Guitar Hero franchise, following a third-quarter dip in earnings.

When asked by Industry Gamers whether Activision would be interested in buying back the Boston-based music game developer, Activision Publishing’s CEO Eric Hirshberg said: I can’t comment on that, for obvious reasons.

But I can tell you I’ve got a ton of respect for Harmonix. They’re a hell of a developer, very innovative and I’ve got nothing but love for them.”

I can’t comment on the other question that you asked. There’s so much going on with Viacom and them right now.”

Hirshberg also talked about the state of the music game market, which has seen a dip this year following the release of Activision’s Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and MTV and Viacom’s Rock Band 3.

"It’s no secret that Guitar Hero, Rock Band and the music category in general do not have the same mass appeal today that they did a few years ago,” he added.

That said, I think that we would be foolish to not try and build on the strength of the Guitar Hero brand because it’s a pretty strong brand with great recognition and great likeability.

I think the road to rejuvenating that category goes through innovation. I think a lot of video game genres that have had tremendous staying power have a fantasy-fulfilment element at their core, so I think the core premise of the Guitar Hero franchise is still very relevant.

I think the genre is still fairly new, and so I think it’s probably time for us to really look at what the next level looks like for that genre.”

Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos previously told MCV that the latest Guitar Hero is not the direction he would have taken with the franchise.

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