MTV Networks Buys Harmonix
MTV stated that it will buy Harmonix Music Systems Inc., a developer of music-themed video games, for $175 million in cash.
Harmonix, based in Cambridge, Mass., developed Guitar Hero and other music games for Sony’s PlayStation 2. The PlayStation title simulates the experience of playing guitar, and even features a miniature guitar controller. Other creative titles feature karaoke and dancing, and incorporate elements like microphones and mats. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Last year Harmonix and Viacom Inc.’s MTV formed a partnership that used the video game title in original programming and competitions on a number of MTV platforms.
The Future: Viacom’s MTV division has taken some heat lately about their mediocre online offerings. The acquisition will enable them to offer online remixing tools and other attributes to give their visitors a more immersive experience with music, but these technologies have been on the shelf for years.