Harmonix has only just regained their independence, but unfortunately, they’re already swinging the axe. They have laid off over 10 percent of their staff in an attempt to “into alignment” with their “current product development plans.” This announcement comes right at the same time that their former owner Viacom is essentially shutting down their MTV Games wing, abandoning the video game market completely. Perhaps it was good that they got out when they did.
As far as we can tell, Harmonix’s “current development plans” consist of DLC and addons for Rock Band 3 and Dance Central plus an as yet unnamed DS title. Outside of that, Harmonix hasn’t announced any other development plans. According to Joystiq, the final head count will probably be a loss of around 15% of the roughly 240 employees at the studio.
Hopefully they are simply trimming the fat since they aren’t working on any major console releases in the near future; however, it’s no secret that music game sales in general have been down recently, which is what prompted Viacom to get rid of Harmonix in the first place.
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