Harmonix Shows Sense While Activision Shows Greed

8 01 2009


Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos Rocks Out With His Stock Out

Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos Rocks Out With His Stock Out


According to WIRED.com’s Chris Kohler, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos announced yesterday at CES that the company plans on “breaking out of the annual release cycle for Rock Band this year.”  Therefore, it appears that unlike the bazillion Guitar Hero spinoffs and SKUs designed to wring as much money from consumers as possible, Rock Band 2 will be the platform it claims to be.  Mind you, of course Harmonix wants to make money too, and will do so through their downloadable content as well as their upcoming (but not Rock Band related) game based upon the Beatles, but I think that it’s expected for a music-based game company to make music games.  And in a world where there are literally dozens of ways to get your plastic-guitar-game on, it’s nice to see Harmonix showing some restraint.

Rigopulos was also quoted saying, “We’re trying to take a long-term view.”  This is what I find the most refreshing.  Instead of Activision’s  “grab the money now” philosophy, it appears that Harmonix is willing to take the time to sort of marinate Rock Band on people, focus on improving the experience through downloadable upgrades and new tracks, and really develop the platform.  

There’s not much else to say, other than that I hope Activision takes note and begins to scale back.  I’m in love with rythym instrument games, but we’re getting to the point where there are only so many instruments one can own, and so much money one wants to spend on non-interoperable games.  If the genre is to survive beyond a fad, then the platform approach is what is necessary.  And like any game franchise, milking it may get a company some short-term gains, but to really make it last, quality should be the key, giving gamers time to really chew on your product before you churn out the next.




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