Harmonix, the developer behind Rock Band and Dance Central, laid off 37 positions today and a new CEO was appointed.
All 37 of the positions were full-time positions. The news found its way into several gaming news outlets. Polygon reports that a Harmonix CEO said the following:
“Harmonix is in the process of restructuring our organization to bring it into alignment with our current and future product development plans. Unfortunately, this means making the difficult decision to reduce 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.”
The company also says that CEO Alex Rigopulos is no longer going hold the CEO position. Rigopulos will instead start a new role as the chief creative officer. Steve Janiak, the head of publishing and business operations, is taking the role as CEO.
These lay offs are said to not affect upcoming games releasing within the next couple of years by the music based game developer. Recently the studio ran a Kickstarter to fund a successor to a PS2 game Amplitude. The Kickstarter funded what the website calls an HD version and raised a considerable amount from the inital goal.
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is another title that is in development by the studio and will utilize the Kinect on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. The studio also created the game Dance Central that also uses Kinect to mimic a person’s dance moves on the screen.
The Amplitude Kickstarter page made a comment on the lay offs and expressed deep condolences to those affected.
“We realize that many of our supporters might have some questions regarding how this might affect Amplitude, and we would like to quickly take the time to address those concerns,” says the post. “[T]he Amplitude project remains unaffected.”
Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy in Cambridge, MA during 1995. Initially they developed the first few games for the popular Guitar Hero franchise. Since then, they’ve been purchased by MTV Networks and went on to emulate the experience of playing drums and guitars with the Rock Band games.
For more news on their Kickstarter check out a past article from mxdwn or watch a demo of Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved.