Harmonix, known for creating the most notable rhythm games of all time from some unknown games to the more notable Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, has joined the seemingly ever-growing catalog of companies now under the Epic Games umbrella. Harmonix has a very long history with music video games and has all but been disappointing with them so to see the company still dominated the genre, without releasing a yearly variation of every game in their catalog, much like Activision with Call of Duty or EA with Madden and other sports titles on that release schedule. Below, we’ve gone into detail about Harmonix and the history behind the brand, as well as what Harmonix can do for Epic Games, and Fortnite, now that the video game giant has acquired the company of rhythm game geniuses.
Personally, the first game from Harmonix I had ever played was Amplitude and captivated me more than any game had before and I followed the company ever since. However, Harmonix really broke the scene with Guitar Hero as it combined the elements from the previous games from the company and added a brand new guitar peripheral. After Guitar Hero had published its third release with Guitar Hero: Encore Rock the 80’s, their deal with Activision was finalized and the company eventually went on to create Rock Band. While the franchise of Guitar Hero was left behind with Activision, Harmonix eventually was acquired by MTV to create Rock Band with more instrument peripherals than Guitar Hero and had fulfilled the whole band commitment with a microphone, drums, and guitar for both bass and lead guitars. While Guitar Hero featured songs by famous musicians, it also featured members of Harmonix covering the songs and even original songs from members of the Harmonix team. Rock Band followed this same path and featured songs from members of the studio that created the game. This should have been expected to have such an array of musicians working for a video game studio that has made rhythm games for so long.
Harmonix Acquired by Epic Games
The amazing, and surprise, partnership between the two industry giants was definitely a shock but it felt well-deserved, for both companies. Harmonix has specifically stated that since being acquired by Epic Games they will continue to support their existing titles with content such as Rock Band and Dance Central. With Epic Games having such a large footprint in the video games industry already and Harmonix being known more for console releases, we may see a new game from Harmonix available exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Personally, I’d love any new release from Harmonix and with Disney and Square Enix release of Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory being the first memorable rhythm game outside of recent Harmonix releases. When it comes to mobile games, however, that front has been pretty clean and dry for a while now for rhythm games but recently a game similar to Tap Tap Revenge, and other Tap Tap titles that no longer exist, called Beatstar, that feels a whole lot like a mobile version of Rock Band.
Harmonix and Fortnite
While we have no idea if the rhythm games themselves will make a Fortnite appearance of some kind, it’s clear that they will make Fortnite’s already insane music experiences even better. When it comes to the possibilities of what Harmonix could do for Fortnite itself, they are literally endless. Fortnite, in recent seasons, has included radio stations into the car radios found on the island and that alone gives several opportunities for Harmonix to showcase different music styles, of original music. However, that doesn’t mean that Harmonix will only provide original music as the rhythm game creators have worked with countless other musicians work to create experiences with Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central and so much more. Overall, I’d love to see Harmonix get right to it and have them have something to do with the upcoming end of Chapter 2 with the upcoming season, set to end in less than a week. Since the event is coming a little too soon for Harmonix to really be able to get involved in, they could start creating the future right away and I’m sure epic games will utilize that just as soon considering how visually stunning they like to make things. Further extending upon the ideal possibilities when Epic Games acquired Harmonix, the Creative tab of Fortnite does provide literal endless possibilities, acting as a create-your-own game mode allowing players to do almost anything within Epic Games’ parameters.