Rock Band Developer Harmonix Sold for $50

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Rock Band developer Harmonix has reportedly been sold by Viacom for $50 to a private group of investors. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, “Here’s what happens when a red-hot video game franchise goes cold: You can buy the whole company for the same price as a single copy of the game.”

Of course there’s a catch for Columbus Nova, the new owners of the company. They will have to assume all liabilities, which includes licensing fees and unsold games/equipment. For Viacom, not all is bad news. They will be able to write off $50 million on their taxes and another $100 million is offloaded from the liabilities that were assumed in the sale. Still, that’s a far-cry from the $175 million that they paid for Harmonix in 2006.