Epic Games Buys Rock Band Studio Harmonix To Make Music For Fortnite, But Is That It?
Harmonix is arguably best known for its iconic Rock Band franchise, which let us live out our dreams of standing on stage and dazzling enthusiastic crowds with our guitar riffs, drum beats, and awesome vocals (or getting booed). The studio's resume has some other notable titles, including Dance Central and more recently Fuser. Whatever it has in store next, however, will be related to Fortnite.
That's because Epic Games announced today it has acquired Harmonix. Neither company is revealing too much at the moment, but Epic did say it will work closely with Harmonix to "develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite." And in case you're wondering, Harmonix and its new owner will also continue to support existing games, including Rock Band 4.
"Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most beloved interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do this at scale," said Alex Rigopulos, Co-Founder and Chairman at Harmonix. "Together we will push the creative boundaries of what’s possible and invent new ways for our players to make, perform and share music."
Getting acquired by a firm with the kind of near-endless resources that Epic has is probably a dream come true for the current Harmonix team, especially given its journey to this point. The team can now focus solely at what it does, which is make musical experiences. Only now it's for Fortnite.
As to what specific experiences those will entail, that remains to be seen. That said, Fortnite has hosted several virtual concerts and has attracted some big name talent, such as Travis Scott and Ariana Grande. It stands to reason that Harmonix will somehow be involved in future efforts of this kind, as well as new and interactive experiences, whatever those might be.
"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."
That's as detailed as either company is willing to get at the moment. In a related FAQ, Harmonix stated it will still push our more Rock Band DLC with additional tracks on slate for this year and next. It will also have more Fuser events. There are no current plans to make more Rock Band instruments (boo!), but Harmonix did promise to keep its servers online (yay!).
In other words, stay tuned because the party has yet to begin.