In its third quarter financial statement released this morning, Viacom revealed it is selling Harmonix game studio, the makers of the Rock Band series of music games and Kinect title Dance Central.
Viacom classified Harmonix as a “discontinued business,” seemingly, losses from poor sales of games like Rock Band was having a negative impact on the company's otherwise solid financial numbers. Wanna know what's causing the Viacom's solid sales? The Jersey Shore. Cable ad revenues were up 8 percent on the strength of that awesome show.
"The decision to sell Rock Band is welcome news," Christopher Marangi, an analyst at Gabelli & Co., told Portfolio.com "The franchise has been a disappointment and a drag on earnings."
Obviously, the future of Harmonix is up in the air, as a buyer for the developer is located.
On its message board, Harmonix says the announcement won't affect ongoing work at the studio, and the company will "continue to support our existing franchises, Rock Band and Dance Central." Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed.
We'll keep you updated on this story as more develops.