Content about Harmonix


The idea behind E3 was to showcase the latest and brightest games of 2012, but there are always a few games that disappoint us. Some games on our list made serious changes to their formula, and not for the better. Other games took center stage at E3 when they shouldn’t have. There were many games at E3, but here is our top five list of disappointments.


The free-to-play market had a huge showing at E3 and was showcased at Sony’s Online Entertainment booth. Recently SOE converted all of its most popular MMOs into the model, giving new life to D.C Universe while reintroducing fans to the PlanetSide series.


Throughout the history of video games, the oldest stereotype surrounding the industry has always been do violent video games affect player behavior and personality. It is a known fact that people who play games are exposed to more violence than the average consumer. From nuking entire civilization to obliterating players online, it’s has become more and more common now that games are more focus on squarely providing violent action. For this reason alone, parents have long held an underlining negative attitude towards the industry and those who stand by it, but is this criticism injustice or have developers gone to far? Should government step in?


It seemed, at a glance, that Harmonix had done everything it possibly could with the Rock Band franchise.  There's been a trio of sequels that have introduced various instruments and new ways to play; thousands of songs released via DLC; and even band-specific games for Green Day and AC/DC, as well as a Lego spin-off. So what's left?  How about a new way to play?


With Harmonix shying away from the troublesome MTV Networks and essentially becoming its own entity, it was free to do whatever it pleased.  And with that, it continued to support Rock Band 3, its latest rock machine, with a number of great new songs, including offerings from Rick Astley, Huey Lewis and the News and, recently, Shinedown and Evanescence.  But who knew that it would also be feeding a different rock monster than the one it’s already created?  Silly us.


The bitter break-up between Rock Band developer Harmonix and the game's publishing arm at Viacom has been a messy one.  Following the somewhat expensive development of The Beatles Rock Band (due to licensing) and the release of Rock Band 3, Viacom unceremoniously dumped the developer, who purchased themselves back for $50.  Ever since, the companies have been battling back and forth over payments due over the series' release and royalties.  But it looks like the final decision could be leaning in Harmonix's favor...


A lot of controversy has surrounded Harmonix and Rock Band 3 since its release last year, particularly with MTV Games dropping the developer and then turning around and suing shareholders for taking too many cash awards from its success.  But that hasn't stopped millions of gamers from rocking out to its selections, as well as its downloadable content, which continues on a weekly basis to this day.  But now MadCatz is looking to do a little banking of its own, as it's repackaging the game just in time for this season's holiday rush.


When MTV Games selfishly dumped Harmonix from its game line-up (despite the millions of copies of Rock Band and Dance Central that were solid), many thought that the developer would be in trouble, like most other shuttered developers as of late.  But they bought their own rights back, hunkered in and went back to work on thriving with their products.  Now, months after being let go, the team is doing better than expected, thanks to some quality Rock Band 3 content and a promising Dance Central sequel.  The party's not over for them, not by a long shot.



This year at E3, Microsoft’s focus was clearly on Kinect. Be it Kinect integration with controller-based games or a slew of new Kinect games, the wildly successful controller-free peripheral had a massive showing. Unfortunately, it failed to impress.



We went back stage to interview some of the winners at the Video Game Awards.



We are coming to you live from SpikeTV's Video Game Awards 2009 in Los Angeles with host Jo Garcia, Playboy's 2008 Cybergirl of the Year. She's hot and our coverage will be hot so stay tuned here as we beam to you live video reports from the VGAs as we interview the top developers and, of course, celebrities on the Red Carpet, Backstage and in the Green Room. It all starts at 8pm Eastern Time.