“Harmonix has always aspired to create the world’s most beloved interactive music experiences, and by joining Epic we will be able to do this at scale,” said Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix co-founder and chairman. “Together we will push the creative boundaries of what’s possible and invent new ways for our players to make, perform and share music.”
The plan for Harmonix is to continue work on Rock Band 4 downloadable content and Fuser events while also creating “musical journeys and gameplay” for Fortnite, Epic’s massive battle royale cash cow. Harmonix also promised its games will remain on Steam rather than becoming Epic Games Store exclusives and that there are no intentions to take down existing servers or anything like that.
Mirroring Fortnite’s various crossovers with other games, television shows, and movies, Epic has slowly but surely bolstered itself with acquisitions over the last several years. Rocket League developer Psyonix was assimilated into the Epic Borg in 2019, followed by the Fall Guys creators at Mediatonic back in March. The former eventually became an Epic Games Store exclusive while the latter remains available on Steam.
“Music is already bringing millions of people together in Fortnite, from our emotes to global concerts and events,” said Alain Tascan, vice president of game development at Epic Games. “Together with the Harmonix team we will transform how players experience music, going from passive listeners to active participants.”
Seeing as Epic has raked in billions of dollars a year since at least 2018, it should come as no surprise that the company is looking to add to its “metaverse” project any way it can. Whether Harmonix holds onto some autonomy or simply transitions to developing in-game instruments for Ryu and Paul Atreides remains to be seen.