Harmonix Suffers Layoffs Amid Ongoing Restructuring

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

Earlier this morning we received some unfortunate news regarding Harmonix. Around 35 employees have been let go from various departments at the Rock Band and Dance Central dev as part of a restructuring plan that, according to an official statement, will bring the studio “into alignment with [its] current product development plans.”

Harmonix hasn’t made its next title public yet, but the studio was named on a short list of potential Nintendo 3DS developers at E3 last year. As a side note here, according to a Joystiq report, no plans for Rock Band or Dance Central DLC, or even other future projects, have been affected by this development.
  

 
Here’s the full statement Harmonix put out: 

Harmonix is restructuring our organization to bring it into alignment with our current product development plans. Unfortunately, this means reducing the number of full-time staff. We sincerely appreciate the work of each and every one of these employees. Harmonix is working to ensure that those affected are well taken care of as we make this change.


Our condolences to those who were let go and we hope everyone lands on their feet soon.    
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

Earlier this morning we received some unfortunate news regarding Harmonix. Around 35 employees have been let go from various departments at the Rock Band and Dance Central dev as part of a restructuring plan that, according to an official statement, will bring the studio “into alignment with [its] current product development plans.”

Harmonix hasn’t made its next title public yet, but the studio was named on a short list of potential Nintendo 3DS developers at E3 last year. As a side note here, according to a Joystiq report, no plans for Rock Band or Dance Central DLC, or even other future projects, have been affected by this development.
  

 
Here’s the full statement Harmonix put out: 

Harmonix is restructuring our organization to bring it into alignment with our current product development plans. Unfortunately, this means reducing the number of full-time staff. We sincerely appreciate the work of each and every one of these employees. Harmonix is working to ensure that those affected are well taken care of as we make this change.


Our condolences to those who were let go and we hope everyone lands on their feet soon.    
#2 Posted by Evelgest (122 posts) -

Shame.

#3 Edited by paulwade1984 (477 posts) -

ugh. poor guys 
*edit* Damn it. I should have went for a single word instead of 3. Damn us quest whores.

#4 Posted by RE_Player1 (7551 posts) -

Awww man. 

#5 Posted by Bamsen (336 posts) -

thats too bad

#6 Posted by BulletproofMonk (2718 posts) -

Bummer. All the best to those who got laid off.

#7 Posted by HarrySound (230 posts) -

Sad but inevitable. 
Shame I entered this whole plastic instrument thing a little late and everyone had already left the party. 
Thats what happens when you over saturate.

#8 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

Hopefully John Drake gets out of this ok. If worst comes to pass, he can always get a job as a country music star.

#9 Posted by pickassoreborn (522 posts) -

Hooray for the games industry!  Maybe one day all the devs out there will realise they are the masters of their own destinies and get jobs which aren't so exciting but are so much more secure.
 
Good luck to those affected. Get a proper job  this time.

#10 Posted by Mcfart (1570 posts) -

Apparently MTV is getting out of the publishing games buiz as well....so Harmonix might not even be able to release that 3DS game...

#11 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

This is what happens when you make nothing but shitty music 'games'.

#12 Posted by MrGtD (454 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:
" Hopefully John Drake gets out of this ok. If worst comes to pass, he can always get a job as a country music star. "
John Drake went to Harvard.  He'll do fine, even if he does get laid off, which he probably won't.
#13 Posted by MegaGoat (219 posts) -

Wonder how many will file lawsuits against Harmonix for bonuses unpaid as a result of alleged unpaid bonus owed by MTV

#14 Posted by Nadafinga (957 posts) -
@MrGtD said:
" @Enigma777 said:
" Hopefully John Drake gets out of this ok. If worst comes to pass, he can always get a job as a country music star. "
John Drake went to Harvard.  He'll do fine, even if he does get laid off, which he probably won't. "
Actually, I wouldn't mind if Drake was laid off, then Giant Bomb could hire him. Because, lets face it, this site...nay, the world, needs more John Drake.
#15 Posted by fwylo (3556 posts) -

Shitty.

#16 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

Well, I'm glad the DLC isn't affected by this. I need more metal tracks. 

#17 Edited by Waffles13 (607 posts) -
@Nadafinga said:

" @MrGtD said:
 the world, needs more John Drake. "

I'm tearing up over here.
 
On a more serious note, I think that even if you hate their games, Harmonix has done incredible things for the base-level interfaces in Rock Band 3. Simple things like remembering what song you last practiced when you enter quick play mode, insane sorting systems, the ability to rate any song easily, change difficulty on the fly and interconnecting all the menus to make it super easy to get from one place to another (getting into training from a song while playing, from the main song list, as well as the training menu) have spoiled me for everything else. Just going through my achievements or the games marketplace on the dashboard is now infuriating to sort through or switch back and forth between menus because of how clunky and time consuming it is.
 
And yeah, the games are still the best in class made by the people who created the modern rhythm genre. Here's to hoping for plenty more DLC and new games outside of the Rock Band series.
#18 Posted by UnsolvedParadox (1862 posts) -

This really sucks, hopefully everyone let go will land on their feet quickly.

#19 Posted by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

Does this mean Whisky Media can have their music website run by Drake and Pope yet? No? 
 
Just kidding, hope their jobs are safe and sucks for those being let go.

#20 Posted by zombiesatemycereal (426 posts) -
@MysteriousBob: games which have made millions, so go troll somewhere else jackass. 
#21 Posted by wickedsc3 (1046 posts) -

Bummer

#22 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -
This is a shame - these guys are super-talented developers. Really hope the best, I'll continue supporting them. Now just waiting for a FNM track pack for RB3 :D
 
@MysteriousBob said:
" This is what happens when you make nothing but shitty music 'games'. "
Trollz go home.
#23 Posted by gaseous (16 posts) -

Lame

#24 Posted by CarpetRemnant (369 posts) -
This type of news is always a total bummer, condolences. 
 
@sofacitysweetheart:
 Yes to FNM track pack! They just need to release Angel Dust as an album download really.
#25 Posted by MachoFantastico (4516 posts) -

That sucks, really hope they are able to get through the changes and continue to make great games. 
 
Harmonix are one of the few studios I actually give a damn about. 

#26 Posted by MisterMouse (3543 posts) -

major bummer...

#27 Posted by Zamir (507 posts) -

so are going to see more of Eric Pope's reviews on screened

#28 Posted by MolluskLingers (109 posts) -

Good, now the superior music game series Guitar Hero can live on.

#29 Posted by SamFo (1526 posts) -

As a massive HMX fan, I must say I'm not too worried. Although it is sad for the people that got laid off, It is probably marketing and QA Testers left over from Rock Band 3 and Dance Central. It is a shame, but definitely not the end of rock band, dance central or harmonix.

#30 Posted by WilliamHenry (1201 posts) -
@Methodis said:
" Good, now the superior music game series Guitar Hero can live on. "

/s?
#31 Posted by JustinSane311 (335 posts) -

Part of me wishes that John Drake gets fired and then hired by Whiskey Media.

#32 Posted by SamFo (1526 posts) -
@Methodis:
I assume you're joking, but even so. It is business as usual at HMX. Rock band is not dead.
#33 Posted by Branthog (7349 posts) -

Huh? I've never touched a single one of their games and never will, but I thought their shit was supposed to be like . . . more popular than sex or something?!

#34 Posted by FlipperDesert (2082 posts) -
@HarrySound said:
" Sad but inevitable. Shame I entered this whole plastic instrument thing a little late and everyone had already left the party. Thats what happens when you over saturate. "
Same, I got Rock Band 3 last year and Harmonix has been one of my favourite developers out there since. Regardless, I'll keep supporting them, I have a lot of songs to learn on pro drums.
#35 Posted by MikkaQ (10270 posts) -
@Mcfart said:
" Apparently MTV is getting out of the publishing games buiz as well....so Harmonix might not even be able to release that 3DS game... "
MTV sold Harmonix back to Harmonix. 
 
What a bummer though, I like Harmonix.
#36 Posted by Chris2KLee (2331 posts) -

It's a shame, good luck to all those involved in finding new work.

Online
#37 Edited by melcene (3056 posts) -

Damn.  

As for market oversaturation... talk to the *** Hero franchise.  Rock Band has released 6 stand-alone titles since it started in 2007 (not including the track packs or the ACDC pack).  The Guitar Hero franchise has released nearly twice that many, has only been going two years longer, and that doesn't even include the Band Hero and DJ Hero crap.
 
Mind you, I've been a fan of both franchises, and I started with the very first GH game back on PS2 when it was still new.  I'll keep supporting both franchises.

#38 Posted by DedBeet (274 posts) -

I wish them well though I've been privately wondering how Harmonix can remain viable only putting out music games.  Not a genre that interests me so my perspective is skewed I guess.

#39 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5138 posts) -

Thats a shame but I guess it's understandable considering they won't be working on Rock Band 4 any time soon and from what ive seen Dance Central doesnt require such a big team, hope the people who got layed off find a new job soon.

#40 Posted by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -
@Vorbis said:
" Does this mean Whisky Media can have their music website run by Drake and Pope yet? No?  Just kidding, hope their jobs are safe and sucks for those being let go. "
I support this idea. 
 
I hope things start to look up for Harmonix soon. It's been rough lately.
#41 Posted by SomethingClever (419 posts) -

Good luck to all affected. Especially Jaunty Drake and Pope.

#42 Posted by RJPelonia (854 posts) -

:(

#43 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:
" This is what happens when you make nothing but shitty music 'games'. "
Actually, no.  This is what happens when Activision gets involved in the genre you work in.  They oversaturate it with shit, market super aggressively and make it almost impossible for anyone else to compete.
#44 Posted by teh_pwnzorer (1482 posts) -

Oh no!  Who will make shitty applications that pretend to be games, which I would never play anyway, now? 

#45 Posted by Babymauler (46 posts) -

More unemployed game devs in my city :(

#46 Posted by lartax (13 posts) -

lets hope for the best

#47 Posted by dpac (10 posts) -

Harmonix makes some of the best cooperative/party games around. Wish Harmonix and those let go the best.

#48 Posted by dukelombardi (3 posts) -

This is a little sad. They have always been my favorite developer. 

#49 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:
" This is what happens when you make nothing but shitty music 'games'. "
As insightful as ever, MysteriousBob.
#50 Posted by zityz (2360 posts) -

Condolences go out to all who got laid off. John Drake better not be one of them.

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