Epic Games has announced its purchase of Rock Band developer Harmonix. Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix co-founder and chairman said in a statement, “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.” Continuing, “Together we will push the creative boundaries of what’s possible and invent new ways for our players to make, perform and share music.”
As part of Epic Games, Harmonix will take on two tasks: the company will continue to develop downloadable content for Rock Band 4 while also beginning to create “musical journeys and gameplay” for Fortnite. Harmonix has promised its game library will continue to be available on Steam rather than moving to the Epic Games Store. There are apparently no intentions for the company to take down its current servers.
This is not the first time Epic has created a crossover for Fortnite with other media. The battle royale giant has had crossovers with games, television shows, and movies, with Epic carefully acquiring several developers over the years. Psyonix, Rocket League developer, was acquired by Epic in 2019, along with Fall Guys creators Mediatonic in March 2021. Since then, Rocket League has become an Epic Games Store exclusive while Fall Guys has remained on Steam.
The press release on Epic Games website quoted Alain Tascan, Vice President of Game Development at Epic Games saying, “Music is already bringing millions of people together in Fortnite, from our emotes to global concerts and events. Together with the Harmonix team, we will transform how players experience music, going from passive listeners to active participants.”
Rock Band‘s first release was in 2007, being a major competitor to the then-popular Guitar Hero. Its games have spanned many music genres, even gaining the rights to the coveted The Beatles library, releasing The Beatles: Rock Band in 2009. Harmonix should make for an interesting addition to Epic’s growing collection of developers and players will be surely anticipating the “musical journeys” in the works for Fortnite.