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Rock Band developer buys itself for $50

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Rock Band 3

The Rock Band franchise might be a hit with critics, but it's been a burden to parent company Viacom, who decided last month to sell off the game's developer, Harmonix.

Speculation over who would purchase the music game maestros, however, has come to quick and surprising end: they bought themselves.

And they did it for the cost of one copy of Rock Band.

The LA Times reports that Viacom sold Harmonix to Harmonix-SBE Holdings, an affiliate of investment group Columbus Nova, last month for the ludicrous price of $49.99. The upside? Viacom gets a tax benefit of $50 million for investment losses and will offload an additional $100 million in liabilities.

The other upside is that Harmonix once again owns itself as an independent game
developer, a status it enjoyed when it was bought by Viacom for $175 million
back in 2007. Unfortunately, that was just before the music game genre suffered
a long, slow sales decline, turning what seemed like a no-brainer purchase into a
bad buy.

It's hardly the end of the record for Viacom and Harmonix, however, as the two are
still locked in a legal squabble over royalties allegedly owed to former Harmonix shareholders.


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