The people who make Rock Band and the breakout Kinect dancing game Dance Central have been sold by MTV's parent company Viacom. But they can keep making sequels to those series, if they want to.
The new owners, investment group Columbus Nova, have purchased Harmonix for an undisclosed sum, according to a Viacom statement this morning.
Kotaku understands that Harmonix takes the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises with them.
"We're excited for Harmonix to return to its roots as a privately held and independent studio," Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulous said in a statement. "We are extremely grateful for Viacom's support, and proud of the work that we've done in partnership with our colleagues at MTV Games over the past four years to launch Rock Band and Dance Central. We're excited to continue work on those franchises and to continue to innovate and entertain in the coming years. "
The Boston-based Harmonix, which made the first Guitar Hero games as well acclaimed but less commercially successful music games like Amplitude and Frequency before that, had been purchased by MTV in 2006. Earlier this fall, Viacom signaled an intent to sell Harmonix, citing a need to focus on other activities and expressing diminished interest in producing big console video games.
On the Rock Band forums, Harmonix's John Drake said the company will keep releasing downloadable content for Rock Band. "We will continue our support of previously released titles and we're hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you're going to be pumped about."
A spokesperson for Columbus Nova, the investment group that owns Harmonix said the group "is really excited about backing the world-class team that has consistently produced such great games and helping them grow the company and its brands."
There may be new owners for the Rock Band studio, gamers, but so far it's unclear if any of this will have an impact on what we play.