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Harmonix brainstorming 'reimaginings' of Rock Band, new motion games


"There's no denying that Rock Band 3 hasn't yet sold to the level we hoped it would out of the gate," Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos admitted to Edge. "But on the flipside of that we also believe that it's a product that has a lot of life."

It may be difficult to share Rigopulos' optimism. Since the beginning of the year, Viacom sold Harmonix (back to Harmonix), MTV Games was shut down and Activision hit the pause button on its long-running Guitar Hero franchise. Still, Rigopulos offers a "glass half-full" interpretation of Activision's retraction from the genre, seeing a newfound opportunity to expand the developer's audience. "We think there are also a lot of devoted Guitar Hero fans who have probably never given Rock Band a try," Rigopulos told Destructoid. Harmonix wants to convert them and "let them know that Rock Band 3 is worth giving a try."

Rock Band 3 will continue receiving updates through the year, as Harmonix tries to "cultivate" the platform -- though Rigopulos added that "fundamental reimaginings of the Rock Band franchise" are being planned. "The marketplace is clearly demanding something very new," Rigopulos noted. "It's clearly demanding a dramatic evolution of the Rock Band franchise, I think, and I think that's actually exciting for us."

While rebooting the band genre will be an uphill battle for the company, there's still one bright star in the studio's portfolio: Dance Central. Finishing the sequel is an obvious next step, but it seems Harmonix has more motion-gaming ideas. "It's safe to say you'll see a lot more in that domain from Harmonix beyond Dance Central," Rigopulos teased. "We'd be absolutely open-minded about that."

With their future projects still shrouded in secrecy, it seems Rigopulos is confident that his team will easily bypass this dark era for music gaming. Contrary to industry perception, the company might have too much on its plate. "We have a lot of very cool new ideas in the works right now, looking out beyond both Rock Band and Dance Central."

[Image credit: RockBandAide]

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