Yesterday's Harmonix announcement of re-independence
from global media conglomerate Viacom left questions hanging about the intellectual property rights to the studio's two main franchises. Joystiq has been informed by sources that Harmonix will "own the IP rights" to both the Rock Band
and Dance Central
franchises after the split, meaning it can continue to create new installments if it chooses.
We've also been informed that the developer's DLC support
of both titles will continue "unaffected by the sale" and that its distribution relationships with EA and Mad Catz for the Rock Band
series, and with Microsoft for Dance Central
, also remain "unaffected."
What we currently understand of the situation, from sources involved, is that Viacom and MTV Games providing licensing muscle isn't as necessary as it once was -- before the music genre became established
over the past few years. It appears relationships have been set that now allow Harmonix to license music for its games without the aid of Viacom.