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Johnny Cash coming to Rock Band next week

Fans Can Also Download Nine Free Songs That Were Featured on Previous Rock Band Titles!

Cambridge, Mass. – Dec. 30, 2010 – Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that Johnny Cash will make his Rock Band debut next week with an eight pack of his greatest hits beginning Jan. 4 in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™. Nine songs featured previously in Rock Band games will also be available for free for the Xbox and PlayStation 3.

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Harmonix will keep IP rights to Rock Band and Dance Central

Joystiq has learned from unnamed sources that Harmonix will retain the IP rights to Rock Band and Dance Central now that they have left the Viacom family.

I assumed as much when Harmonix made their statement yesterday, but it’s nice to get a confirmation of it. The only thing left to figure out is who will handle publishing rights to both titles.

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Harmonix Ex-Shareholders, Including Founders, File Suit Against Viacom Over Unpaid Bonuses

Former shareholders of Rock Band developer Harmonix last week filed a U.S. lawsuit against parent company Viacom, accusing the media giant of trying to scheme its way out of paying performance-based bonuses. The ex-shareholders group — which includes Harmonix founders such as Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, as well as other early funders of the Boston-based developer — is accusing Viacom of manipulating costs after the massive initial success of Rock Band to avoid a potentially giant earn-out payment.

Full report here.

I may be crazy, but Billy Joel is coming to Rock Band 3 next week

Cambridge, Mass. – Dec. 10, 2010 – Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that a 12 pack of some of Billy Joel’s greatest songs, featuring awesome piano parts and some Pro Guitar and Pro Bass upgrades, will be available Dec. 14 in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™.

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Rock Band 3 (PS3 Wii Xbox360) Queen DLC Trailer

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Analysis: U.S. Music Game Sales In Sharp Decline Since 2008

Full report here.

John Lennon’s Imagine Album Coming to Rock Band Next Week

Cambridge, Mass. – Nov. 19, 2010 – Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that John Lennon’s masterful album, Imagine, including a track with Pro Guitar and Pro Bass, will be available Nov. 23 in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™.

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You can tell by the way I use my walk that the Bee Gees are coming to the Rock Band 3 Music Store

Cambridge, Mass. – Nov. 12, 2010 – Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that six of the Bee Gees’ greatest hits, including one track with Pro Guitar and Pro Bass, as well as singles from B.B. King and Procol Harum, will be available Nov. 16 in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™.

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Viacom: We don’t have the expertise and scale for the video game business, there are several potential buyers for Harmonix

“Our decision to exit this business reflect our strategy of focusing entirely on what we do best – make great branded entertainment content and deliver it through a variety of platforms… Harmonix has and will continue to create terrific videogames but for us it is about focus. The console games business requires an expertise and scale that we don’t have. We have taken steps to sell Harmonix and we are in discussions with several potential buyers. The third parties have a different economic view of Harmonix and we believe that it’s an asset that will be worth more to them than it is to us,” – Thomas Dooley, COO of Viacom

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Harmonix: Viacom’s decision to sell us does not affect our ongoing work, We are not ‘leaving behind’ Rock Band and Dance Central

via Harmonix’s forums:

This morning’s announcement does not affect the ongoing work at the studio as we continue to support our existing franchises, Rock Band and Dance Central. As stated earlier, Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed…

Some of you have been chiming in about our different partners and what this announcement means for [the Fender Squier/Mad Catz Hardware/EA Distribution]. Those partnerships are unaffected by this announcement with regards to existing titles.

Most importantly, the Rock Band and Dance Central will continue to be worked on at Harmonix for the foreseeable future. We’re not leaving them behind.

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