The studio behind Rock Band and Dance Central is working on three new projects that backers say will continue to push the boundaries of “human computer interaction.”
For awhile, Harmonix was a Big Fish. It created the Guitar Hero franchise in 2005 and when it was shuffled off by Activision a couple of years later, went on to launch the hugely popular Rock Band and also managed to squeeze in three popular Dance Central games for the Xbox 360. But the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, as the man said, and the music genre wheels came off in a hurry in early 2011. Rock Band held on longer than Guitar Hero but it’s about to wrap up too, with a final DLC release coming out on April 2.
The might sound like bad news for a developer so tightly focused on the music game genre, but it turns out that Harmonix has other irons in the fire. According to Brad Feld, a managing director at venture capital firm The Foundry Group, the company has three new projects on the go, and they’re pretty darn cool.
“Last fall, Alex Rigopulos and his partner Eran Egozy showed me the three new games they were working on. Each addressed a different HCI paradigm,” he wrote in a blog post. “Each was stunningly envisioned. And each was magic, even in its rough form. Earlier this year I saw each game again, in a more advanced form. And I was completely and totally blown away – literally bouncing in my seat as I saw them demoed.”
HCI refers to “Human Computer Interaction” by the way, and is essentially about how we – the humans – work with them – the machines. Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Dance Central all broke new ground in that regard, and Feld said Harmonix continues to “push the boundaries of human-computer interaction in a way that impacts millions of people.”
The Foundry Group is backing Harmonix’s new ventures and Feld has taken a seat on the company board. “We’ve known the Harmonix founders, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, for 18 years. What they and their team have accomplished is the stuff of legends, and the new games they’ve showed us are all mind-blowing,” he wrote. “We believe once again they are about to give us a window into the future.”
No word on when the rest of us will be allowed to look through it, but E3 is coming…